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 ?
Since 1955, the province has hosted a modern Quebec Winter Carnival, which self-consciously built on an earlier 19th century iteration designed to celebrate the wintery qualities of the province.
The Quebec Winter Carnival, which combines snow sport events, family attractions and rides, runs from January 29 to February 14 and is one of the province's highlights of the year.
At various times there were trips to Las Vegas, the Grey Cup, National Rodeo Finals, Quebec Winter Carnival, and other national and international events.
Introduced in 1894 at the first Quebec Winter Carnival, ice canoe racing reappeared sporadically in the 1930s and finally, in 1955, became a regular part of the Quebec Carnival festivities, when the winter celebration turned into a veritable institution.
The Quebec Winter Carnival, billed as the world's biggest winter celebration, started on 1 February and the snowy fun finishes on Sunday, 17 February.
The festival is one of the world's four largest international ice festivals, along with Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec Winter Carnival, and Norway's Ski Festival.
As our most recent vacation had been to the Quebec Winter Carnival, where we dodged Bonhomme on the city's patinoires, we were ready for the Maya sun.
WestJet, a Canadian carrier, today announced its sponsorship of the Quebec Winter Carnival.
But similar instruments have been used in Mexico since the 1970s and have been a tradition at the Quebec Winter Carnival for many years.
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.
To the chilly delights of the Quebec Winter Carnival.
Place D'Youville is one of the city's most popular open air entertainment plazas and provides many of the city's cultural and tourism events, including the internationally recognized Quebec Winter Carnival and Quebec Summer Festival.
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