The Quebec Winter Carnival or Carnaval de Québec is the largest winter festival in the world. Its reputation for good times and festivities places it right up there with the worlds biggest events, albeit with its icy touch. 475 tons of water is used to create snow sculptures, including an incredible ice palace. There are various competitions, such as dog sledding, canoe and sleigh racing, and things really get hopping when thousands descend for the night parade, ushered in by a boisterous character known as the Bonhomme, and his naughty knights. Carnaval de Québec has been celebrated annually since 1955 but started intermittently from 1894.
A few of the big attractions of this proud Canadian winter festival
- Night-time and daytime parades led by mascot Bonhomme Carnaval
- Numerous public and private parties
- Shows and balls held across the city
- A masquerade ball at the grand ballroom
- Opening and closing ceremonies taking place at the Ice Palace
- Outdoor sporting events like snowboarding, ice canoe, snowshoes, hockey and dog-sledding
to name a few, some of them are part of World Championship tournaments)
- Free outdoor public banquets
- The Canadian, Québécois, International and Student artist snow sculpture contests
- Streets are decorated and some bars and restaurants set up winter patios
- It is traditional to drink Caribou, a hot alcoholic beverage, to keep warm.
And the list goes on !
Late January to Mid Febuary