Quebec Winter Carnival

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Quebec Winter Carnival

Late January to mid-February
Winter carnivals are common throughout Canada, but the celebration of winter that has been held since the mid-1950s in Quebec City ranks among the great carnivals of the world. It begins with the Queen's Ball at the Château Frontenac, a hotel resembling a huge medieval castle in the center of the city, and a parade of illuminated floats.
The International Ice Sculpture Contest, featuring artists from several northern countries, is held at Place Carnaval. More than 40,000 tons of snow are trucked in to construct a large snow castle, which is illuminated at night and which serves as a mock jail for those who fail to remain smiling throughout the celebration. Bonhomme Carnaval, the festival's seven-foot-high snowman mascot dressed in a red cap and traditional sash, roams the streets teasing children and looking for people to lock up in the Ice Palace. The festival drink is caribou, a blend of white alcohol and red wine.
An unusual festival event is the hazardous race of steel-bottomed boats on the semi-frozen St. Lawrence River. Each boat has a team of five, and its members must maneuver around ice floes and occasionally drag their boats over large patches of ice.
An interesting feature of this festival is the way it is financed. A principal source of income for the Carnaval Association is the candle, or "bougie," sale. People who buy the bougies increase the chances that their representative "duchess" (and there are a number of duchesses chosen from all over Quebec) will be selected as Carnaval Queen. They also get a chance to participate in a giant lottery. More than 10,000 people participate in the sale and distribution of candles on "Bougie Night."
CONTACTS:
Carnaval de Quebec
290 rue Joly
Quebec, QC G1L 1N8 Canada
418-626-3716; fax: 418-626-7252
www.carnaval.qc.ca
SOURCES:
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 138
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 56
References in periodicals archive ?
The cover art depicted the beloved Bonhomme Carnaval lugging a briefcase overflowing with cash, leaving a trail of dollar bills in his wake.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially launched this year's celebrations, with Bonhomme Carnaval, the official mascot.
Dans le Carnaval de Quebec, la thematique de la royaute est bel et bien presente puisque Bonhomme Carnaval tient le role de roi de la fete.
Laurence Couanon, organisatrice de la fE[logical not]te s'exprime sur ce procE s peu commun-: A1/2-BrE[c]ler le Bonhomme Carnaval est symbolique.
Also, The Fabulous Story of Bonhomme Carnaval will be published in a special book for children.
One of the most famous is the Quebec Winter Carnival, whose jolly mascot, Bonhomme Carnaval, will enliven the crowds at a host of events from February 1 to 17 (1-888-522-3383 or www.
If nothing else, Quebec's Le Bonhomme Carnaval (a cross between the Michelin Man and Pillsbury Doughboy) wins the award for best festival mascot.
Profanant l'image du Bonhomme Carnaval, le Decarnaval traite celui-ci de la maniere typiquement carnavalesque reservee au << roi bouffon >> a l'epoque de Rabelais (Bakhtine 1970: 199, 368).