9 Reasons We Loved Carnaval as Kids

Wherever there is winter, there are winter festivals. But few are as full of youthful joy and spirited fun as Canada’s own Carnaval de Quebec! 

While it’s a tourist attraction for many, Carnaval is extra special for Quebecers, who revel in all the best parts of this special winter festival.

All the ways we loved Carnaval as kids (and all the ways we still do!)


  1. Flipping the calendar over from January to February meant that you had to sing “Bonhomme, Bonhomme, sais-tu jouer?” over and over again at the top of your lungs. Even though there’s a new song each year, that one still sticks the most. 
  2. You waited every year to visit Bonhomme’s Ice Palace. Watching construction begin on the palace is always a thrill for the people of Quebec City, and planning a visit to Bonhomme’s ice palace was a dream.
  3. Your family made a trip to the Night Parades a special treat: walking through the snowy streets, taking in colourful sights and sounds, and hoping to catch a glimpse of the big man himself – Bonhomme!
  4. Your whole school would have an assembly where you’d dress up with at least one element of Bonhomme’s signature outfit: that long red cap or maybe a traditional ceinture fléchée!
  5. You imagined that maybe one day, you’d brave the freezing St. Lawrence River to take part in the extreme sport of ice canoe racing – or the bain de neige! Have you done it yet?
  6. You’d beg your parents to take you on a sleigh ride through the Plains of Abraham, but the super long tobogganing trail was just as good. Now, you might take your own kids or a special someone instead.
  7. You stood in awe, looking up at the massive sculptures in the International Snow Sculpture Competition and even put in your vote for the winning artist.
  8. You’d spend most of your time in the huge playland while your folks sipped their Caribous on the sidelines and mingled with friends old and new. Now, the Caribou finally makes sense!
  9. Speaking of Caribou – you couldn’t wait for your first sip! But when it blew your socks off you went right back to your favourite Carnaval treat … maple taffy on snow. These days, you probably have both!

 Bon Carnaval!