Carnaval de Quebec, Quebec
In Quebec City, from the end of January to mid Febuary, we have a huge Carnival. There are Ice Palaces througout the city, there are games, concerts, songs, skating, drinking, and a whole lot of fun filled activities. This is a Mardi Gras Carnival! Complete with an Ice Palace!
Hot maple taffy is poured onto boards covered with snow, and begins to harden immediately. Grab a popsicle stick and pick up the taffy. Yum Yum! I dream of maple taffy.
A beaver tail is like a large, flat cinnamon doughnut. I bought one and we shared it between three people. A little messy, and your hand may get cold if it's a cold day at the carnival, but oh so good!
Caribou is a spiced wine that is served hot or cold. We had ours hot, and it was quite good. The spices give off quite an aroma that may tickle your nose. I thoroughly enjoyed this treat.
Ride a traditional dogsled. Two people can go on it, and you go around a track about the size of a large go-cart track. So, the ride is about 1-2 minutes. It is a unique experience, so we thought it was worth the $. I was with my French Canadian friend...she wouldn't tell me how much it cost, but said it was a little steep. But, where else do you get the chance to do this? Few and far between...
Quebec City is home to the largest winter carnival in the world: le Carnaval de Québec! Its origins can be traced back to the days of New France, when French settlers would get together to celebrate Mardi Gras. In 1894, the first official carnival was celebrated as a way to help the entire population forget about the hardships of winter and embrace Canada's coldest snowy days. 60 years later, the carnival's mascot "Bonhomme" was born and various activities were set up, which have now become winter classics!
Each year, the carnival lasts for three weeks, starting at the end of January and ending around mid-February. Some of the most popular events include the two night parades, the traditional snow bath, the canoe race on the half-frozen St. Lawrence River, the dogsled races, Bonhomme's ice palace, the kids' place, the International Snow Sculpture Event, snow rafting, the soapbox derby and the sleigh race. All activities take place in the old city, and a souvenir pass ($10) will give you access to all the carnival sites. It's very easy to walk from one site to the next - just follow the sound of the many trumpets!
Getting cold? Just stop by one of the many stands that sell "caribou", a Quebec liquor made of fortified wine, alcohol and spices, and served warm. If you feel like a glass won't be enough, get a carnival cane and fill it up - Le Carnaval de Quebec might just be the best way to truly appreciate all the joys of winter!
Old Quebec was very cold...freeeeezing cold for someone like me from Southern California. I stayed in the dorms of Laval University as an exchange student. There wasn't much to do, but it was absolutely beautiful in old Quebec and their winter Carnaval was very interesting. There were lots of sculptures carved out of ice and a parade that showcased "Le bonne homme" the winter mascot of Le Carnaval. So, when in Quebec come during the 25th of January til the 11th of February in order to take part in Carnaval.
The 'Carnaval de Quebec' is the biggest winter carnival in the world. The snowman has always been the mascot of the Carnival. He's called 'Bonhomme'! Which kind of translates into 'man' (or even dude!) :) Part of the festivities is the traditional 'snow bath' where people in bathing suits basically trhow themselfs in snow and a very exiting boat race on the iced St-Larence river.
There also is a big procession with big chariots and all. Great fun for everyone!
Dojn't forget to drink Caribou!!
During the famous Winter Carnaval most of the businesses in the Petit Champlain district have ice sculptures in front of their businesses.
With the night lights and the sculptures it really makes the district beautiful.
Apparently the same guy done them all, the renowned Michel Lepire.
I notice that the sculptures usually depicted what the specific stores had to offer.
You will only see this if you are travelling to Quebec during the Carnaval time :-)
Quebec is famous for its Winter Carnival. It usually runs a couple of weeks and it takes over the city as visitors flood in from all over the world.
There are venues throughout old Quebec and there are endless activities. There is so much also to show you about the Carnival so I have a whole host of Carnival tips :-)
Go under my sports tips and you will see plenty more tips and photos from the Carnaval!
Here in this picture you can see the Carnaval mascot Bonhomme skating with kids. They love him I didn't want to have to push 20 kids out of the way to get my picture took with him, hehehe.
During the carnaval, they put up a giant foosball game!
It's really great!
You tie yourself to a giant pole (with your 3 pole partners) and become part of a giant foosball board!
No hands allowed, but a lot of laughing!
See all the beautyfull sculptures from artists around the world! (even Kenya!!) The public even gets to vote for some categories!
You can also talk to the artists or see them work.
Some are really nice..a must!
Carnaval d'hiver (the winter carnival)
The Quebec winter carnival runs for 2 or 3 weeks in February, and is basically a celebration of winter and all the activities it brings (skiing, skidoo, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, snow-frozen maple taffy, sliding, ice slides, ice sculptures and husky-sledging to name but a few of the ways that the locals keep smiling through the depths of their winter)
Don't miss the processions, the ice sculptures, the activities for kids (sliding down big hills in rubber boats!) and remember to dive into local cafés at regular intervals to defrost and sample caribou (not the animal, but a warm alcoholic drink comprising vodka, red wine and god knows what else!)
This is ther yearly race on ice! The participants paddle whe there is water....and then jump out to push their canoe between the plaques of Ice!
It's really incredible to see them go!