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March 2015
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Celebrate the first carnival of the year in Quebec

Celebrate the first carnaval of the year in Québec. Photo 1, 2, 4, 5: Carnaval in Québec. Courtesy Carnaval Québec. Photo 3: Carnaval in Québec © Ludovic Bishoff

It is THE carnival that launches carnival season across the world! In Quebec, every year for the past sixty years, locals slip into warm parkas, tuques and mittens for two weeks of celebrations in the snow. Every year, the Carnival of Quebec, the most historic of North American cities, attracts tens of thousands of wonderers/curious eyes who dream of meeting Bomhomme, the carnival’s mascot. And this is a snowman (dressed in convincing synthetic costume!) is present at every event throughout the fortnight. He benefits from an aura and protection worthy of a head of state! Nobody knows who hides beneath the suit every year. And if you pounce on him for a warming cuddle, his burly security team keep close watch so that his secret identity remains in tact and continue to set aglow the eyes of those children who fully believe that he is a real snowman! With the carnival in full swing at the start of February, this is the perfect chance to visit Quebec. This usually tranquil city, when compared with its frenetic rival/neighbour Montreal, comes alive in winter. An ice and snow covered theme park materialises. Witness the spectacular canoe races on the frozen Saint-Laurent. And parades set the streets alight after dark. So, make a note in your diary and reserve the first fortnight of February 2016, to ensure that you attend the next Carnival. If you want to find somewhere to stay in town, it is essential that you book in advance, as more and more important visitors flock to the Quebec Carnival every year, even in -25 degrees!

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