Today’s Google Doodle marks the 65th Anniversary of the Quebec Winter Carnival. This festival does not belong to modern times. It dates back to the 17th-century colonies which have the name New France. But the festival which we celebrate now belong 125 years ago in  Quebec City. From the year 1954, the Québec Winter Carnival became an annual tradition. This Quebec Winter Carnival is the oldest festival across Canada.

It all started when Frank-Carrel who is the proprietor and managing editor of the Quebec Daily Telegraph, started this carnival as a way to raise spirits during the winter season. During this festival, the formation of an ice palace is grand in front of the Parliament building. Throughout the Quebec city, parade, concerts, sporting competitions are usual.

Québec Winter Carnival

 

The popularity of the Quebec Winter Carnival:

This festival is a dream for many people around the world. In present times, more than half a million people attend this festival. As it gained popularity, it got official recognition now. It has its own official representative named Bonhomme. The Bonhomme is a large snowman who always wears a red cap, black buttons, and a ceinture fléchée, or “arrowed sash.”  He is the King of the ice palace. He leads a night parade along Grande Allée. Besides, the palace is full of ice sculptures and light. Randeep Katari has also given a message. He is the creator of today’s Doodle. Read more on the Google Doodle page.

Going through the Quebec Winter Carnival:

Night Parades are something that immediately wants everybody to be a part of the Quebec Winter Carnival. The carnival will last long for over 17 days. On the two weekends, you can find the night parade. Among the two, one is for kids and another is for the family. The parade itself passes by in about 30 minutes, featuring an array of floats with singers, jugglers, and marching bands. The last few floats highlight some of the local wildlife including owls, wolves, and what looked like narwhals.

The carnival is truly geared for family fun. Some of the other activities included in admission include carnival games for the little ones, bumper cars on ice, floor hockey, and a human foosball game.  The ice sculptures will sure make your jaw drop down. They are so precisely chiseled that you can see them for hours despite the shivering old. Sleigh Rides is really fun. Giant draft horses will be waiting to you carry you for a memorable ride.  Over the White Plains of Abraham, you can never forget such an experience. This is one of the few additional activities, costing $8 for adults and $5 for children. See also: The activities of the Quebec Winter Carnival. 

Québec Winter Carnival

Another activity that is worth the additional fee of $10 per adult and $8 per child is dog sledding. While you only get one time around the track, it was still a dream come true for our family. Within the main carnival area, they have set up a small pond with circles cut into the ice. The size pretty much ensures your success. Once caught, you have a choice of donating it or having them cook it for you to eat directly.

Maple taffy is a sugar candy of boiling maple sap from maple syrup. But not so long that it becomes maple butter or maple sugar. It is part of traditional culture in Québec, Eastern Ontario, New Brunswick, and northern New England. In these regions, it is poured onto the snow, then lifted either with a small wooden stick, such as a popsicle stick, or a metal dinner fork. See also: The Lunar New Year Festival.

A real-life ice palace located just across from the Parliament building. Your $15 Effigy pass to Carnival gets you into all the activities for the full length of the festival and lets you explore the Palace and possibly meet Bonhomme. Each year the castle construction is different, using 300 lb. ice blocks brought in from Montreal.

This year the Palace featured six rooms, spread out in the shape of a snowflake, and included a spa area, Bonhomme’s office, a reception room, a museum room with artifacts from previous carnivals, a children’s playroom and a gym. Bonhomme is the mascot of the Quebec Winter Carnival. The giant snowman a favorite among the children makes appearances throughout the Carnival, including at both night parades, but it is more special to find him welcoming you at his Ice Palace.

Happy Winter Festival!!

 

 

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