Beautiful North Shore of Puerto Rico, # 9-PR-20-17 (c) Thomas R. Fletcher

About Us 

 

Links to all Articles & Photos:

 

Caribbean Features

 

Caribbean Gallery

 

International Features

 

International Gallery

 

Southeastern US Features

 

Southeastern US Gallery

 

US Features

 

US & North American Gallery

 

Photo Prints

 

Stock photography by Thomas+R%2E+Fletcher at Alamy

 

Links

 

E-mail us

 

Amazon Nikon Product Store

 

 

 

 

Carnival in Quebec

By

Thomas R. & Deborah A. Fletcher

 

A serpentine river of snow–driven by the howling wind– twists and meanders across the runway as our plane touches down. Obviously this isn’t your typical winter getaway of drenching sunshine and warm sandy beaches. Quite the opposite. This is a land where the winters are deep, long, and cold. Welcome to Québec.

Long winters can take a toll on the psyche. We know, we live in a state where, as John Denver said, "dark and dusky [are] painted on the sky," where it seems we look at leaden skies six months of the year. In Québec, it isn’t the grayness–the sun does shine, quite often. It is the biting cold, where temperatures can plunge to -40 degrees F. Québec is held firmly in winter’s icy grip for months by temperatures that would drive most people indoors for the duration of the season.

Playing fiddle in Québec City during Winter Carnival Quebec Canada D-04-CAN-1116Québec City claims the believable title of "snow capital of the world." Yet the city is populated with a seemingly indomitable people that refuse to be driven indoors by the icy winters. Instead, a festive spirit pervades. The narrow European-style streets are filled with people–from shoppers to street musicians. These hardy people are used to dealing with the cold.

Québec City developed an antidote to the melancholy of this cruelest season: Winter Carnival. Carnival represents a defiance, a refusal to give in to the cold. Carnival is a celebration of the joy of life in the midst of this cruelest season.

Québec’s Carnival has its roots in the European pre-Lenten celebrations ofSnow in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada D-04-CAN-1187 indulgence and revelry before the 40 days of Lent, where self-denial was to be the order of the day. Québec City was settled by the French in 1608. The city is located at a narrow spot along the St Lawrence River, on a broad east-west plain that extends from the Atlantic seaboard to the heartland of North America. (The name Québec means "where the river narrows.") The old city was the cradle of French civilization in North America. Québec became the capital of New France, overseeing a region extending south to Louisiana. Captured by the British in 1759, uncharacteristically, the city’s French culture was left intact. Instead of forced assimilation usually imposed when the British took control, the city’s inhabitants were guaranteed rights to practice their Catholic religion, retain the French code of law, and continue speaking French. The city’s walled fortifications were built under British rule, making Québec the only walled city in North America. Québec was named Provincial Capital under the Canadian Confederation in 1867. The old walled city became North America’s first United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage City.

The tradition of Carnival came with those early settlers, but the first official celebration of Québec’s Winter Carnival was in 1894. Two world wars and the great depression caused the festival’s sporadic celebration for many years. In January and February 1955 the first modern Carnival was held, firmly establishing the tradition as an annual event starting in late January through mid-February. 

Carnival in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada D-04-CAN-1159Québec’s Winter Carnival has grown to be the world’s third largest carnival celebration (behind Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans) and the world’s largest winter carnival event. More than one million out-of-town visitors attend the event annually. This carnival event is not the licentious, hedonistic event expected in either Rio or New Orleans. People wear a good deal more clothing here–the cold sees to that. Carnival here is by far, more of a family event. There are activities for all members of the family. The city’s Plains of Abraham area is transformed into a winter playground for the family, with games, outdoor sports, a climbing wall, dogsled and sleigh races, downhill skiing for 5-8 year olds, snow rafting and a sugar shack (where boiling maple taffy is poured into troughs of snow for a popular sweet treat). There’s something for everyone. Tour the Ice Palace located just across from Québec’s Parliament Building. Take in a race. There’s the popular soapbox race held on the city’s steep streets, or the challenging Grand défi des glaces canoe race across the icy St Lawrence from Québec City to Lévis, as contestants battle ice floes, the current and the cold.

No article on Québec City would not be complete without a mention of the city’s fine cuisine. Tasty French cuisine is to found at every turn. Québec has more independent dining establishments than anywhere else in Canada. There are fewer chain restaurants and a greater variety of cuisine choices.

ce bar inside The Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada D-04-CAN-1073Located merely 30 minutes outside Québec City the Station touristique Duchesnay offers a unique attraction each winter–The Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada. This hotel brings to life those ice-fort fantasies of childhood in a way never imagined. Made completely of ice and snow the 3,000-square-meter facility features32 rooms and suites, a chapel, a disco ballroom, and a bar–where the glasses are chiseled chunks of ice. The season runs January through sometime in April (when the facility starts to melt).

Québec City’s location between two mountain ranges, the last remnants of the Appalachians to the south and the Laurentian Mountains to the north, means easy access to outdoor adventure. Mountains, rivers, lakes and protected wilderness areas offer unlimited adventure opportunities. Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, dog sledding and snowmobiling are popular winter pursuits.

If You Go:

Tourisme Québec

1010, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest

Bureau 400

Montréal (QC) H3B 1G2

Phone: 514-864-8627

Web: www.bojourquebec.com 

Québec City and Area Tourism and Convention Bureau

399, rue Saint-Joseph Est

Québec (QC) G1K 8E2

Phone: 418-641-6654

Web: www.quebecregion.com 

Mr. Christie’s Winter Carnival

290, rue Joly

Québec (QC) G1L 1N8

Phone: 866-422-7628

                418-626-3716

Web:     http://www.carnaval.qc.ca/en/ 

                www.carnaval.qc.ca 

Hilton Québec

1100, boulevard René-Lévesque Est

Québec (QC) G1K 7K7

Phone: 418-647-6509

Web:     www.hiltonquebec.com 

Station touristique Duchesnay

143, route Duchesnay

Ste-Catherine-de-la-J.-Cartier (QC) G0A 3M0

Phone: 418-875-2711

Web:     www.sepaq.com/duchesnay/

Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada

Bâtiment l’Aigle

143, route Duchesnay

Ste-Catherine-de-la-J.-Cartier (QC) G0A 3M0

Phone: 877-505-0423

418-875-4522

Web:     www.icehotel-canada.com 

            www.hoteldeglace.qc.ca 

Le Saint-Amour

48, rue Sainte-Ursule

Québec (QC) G1R 4E2

Phone: 418-694-0667

Web:     www.saint-amour.com 

Aventure Inukshuk

143, route Duchesnay

Ste-Catherine-de-la-J.-Cartier (QC) G0A 3M0

Phone: 418-875-0770

E-mail:     info@aventureinukshuk.qc.ca 

                

Restaurant-Pub D’Orsay

65, rue De Buade

Québec (QC) G1R 4A2

Phone: 418-694-1582

Web:     www.restaurantpubdorsay.com 

E-mail:     dorsay@restaurantpubdorsay.com 

 

 

Québec City during Winter Carnival D-04-CAN-1183 # D-04-CAN-1183  Québec City during Winter Carnival Québec City during Winter Carnival D-04-CAN-1187 # D-04-CAN-1187  Québec City during Winter Carnival
Québec City during Winter Carnival D-04-CAN-1105 # D-04-CAN-1105  Québec City during Winter Carnival Playing fiddle for coins,  Québec City during Winter Carnival D-04-CAN-1121 # D-04-CAN-1121 Playing fiddle for coins,  Québec City during Winter Carnival
Québec City during Winter Carnival, The Plains of Abraham D-04-CAN-1159 # D-04-CAN-1159  Québec City during Winter Carnival, The Plains of Abraham Québec City during Winter Carnival, The Plains of Abraham D-04-CAN-1163 # D-04-CAN-1163  Québec City during Winter Carnival, The Plains of Abraham
Playing fiddle in Québec City during Winter Carnival D-04-CAN-1116 # D-04-CAN-1116  Playing fiddle in Québec City during Winter Carnival Québec City during Winter Carnival D-04-CAN-1111 # D-04-CAN-1111  Québec City during Winter Carnival
Québec City, mural depicting life in Quebec City over the seasons D-04-CAN-1099 # D-04-CAN-1099  Québec City, mural depicting life in Quebec City over the seasons Québec City during Winter Carnival D-04-CAN-1104# D-04-CAN-1104  Québec City during Winter Carnival
Québec City during Winter Carnival, Ice Palace D-04-CAN-1145 # D-04-CAN-1145  Québec City during Winter Carnival, Ice Palace Québec City during Winter Carnival, The Plains of Abraham D-04-CAN-1157 # D-04-CAN-1157 Québec City during Winter Carnival, The Plains of Abraham
 Québec City during Winter Carnival D-04-CAN-1094 # D-04-CAN-1094 Québec City during Winter Carnival Québec City during Winter Carnival, mural depicting life in Quebec City over the seasons D-04-CAN-1101 # D-04-CAN-1101  Québec City during Winter Carnival, mural depicting life in Quebec City over the seasons
Moonrise over Québec City during Winter Carnival D-04-CAN-1006 # D-04-CAN-1006 Moonrise over Québec City during Winter Carnival Québec City during Winter Carnival D-04-CAN-1090 # D-04-CAN-1090  Québec City during Winter Carnival
Entrance to The Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada D-04-CAN-1062 # D-04-CAN-1062 Entrance to The Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada Friends chat inside The Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada D-04-CAN-1064 # D-04-CAN-1064 Friends chat inside The Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada
 Bed covered in animal skins inside The Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada D-04-CAN-1080# D-04-CAN-1080 Bed covered in animal skins inside The Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada Disco, dance floor, ice table inside The Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada D-04-CAN-1084 # D-04-CAN-1084 Disco, dance floor, ice table inside The Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada
ce bar inside The Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada D-04-CAN-1073 # D-04-CAN-1073 Ice bar inside The Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada ce bar inside The Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada D-04-CAN-1074 # D-04-CAN-1074 Ice bar inside The Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de glace de Québec-Canada
Visitor holds up sled dog puppy,  Aventure Innukshuk, Quebec, Canada D-04-CAN-1041 # D-04-CAN-1041 Visitor holds up sled dog puppy,  Aventure Innukshuk, Quebec, Canada Dog-sledding with Aventure Innukshuk, Quebec, Canada D-04-CAN-1037 # D-04-CAN-1037 Dog-sledding with Aventure Innukshuk, Quebec, Canada

Click here if you would like to use this feature or one of these photos

Custom Search

Text and Photos [c] PROSE & PHOTOS

 
Home ] Up ] Belize ] Ecuador's Amazonia ] Guatemala ] Israel ] Malta ] Northern Ireland ] Nova Scotia ] Prince Edward Island ] Royal Hideaway, Playa del Carmen, Mexico ] The Galapagos ] [ Quebec ]
PROSE & PHOTOS
Syndicated Travel Features; Stock Photo Library
Thomas R. & Deborah A. Fletcher
PO Box 799

Cowen, WV 26206
E-mail us

 

Copyright to all images and text on this website is registered with the US Copyright Office and owned by Thomas R. Fletcher. These images and text may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any manner without prior written authorization from PROSE & PHOTOS/Thomas R. Fletcher. Any use or publication in any form requires a separate agreement outlining terms and fees for use.  Photo Prints

Prose and Photos Home