Bonhomme excitement is apparent in this photo taken a few years ago on Saint Catherine Street in downtown Montreal during the annual Santa Claus Parade.
It was a rather chilly morning that Saturday however, this did not dampen the spirits of thousands of Montrealers and visitors composing the long lines along the route. I snapped this image as the float carrying the jovial Quebec mascot was passing by, hope you like it.
Each year Quebec has a Winter Carnival that is world famous and the Bonhomme Carnaval is the huge snowman celebrity ambassador and undisputed master of his winter wonderland kingdom in Quebec City. He does after all, have the keys to that city during the duration of the festivities given him by its real mayor. Bonhomme is a real celebrity recognized by over 90% of Quebecers and many Canadians and visitors from across the world.
The Carnaval is a multi-day festival during most of the month of February featuring Bonhomme, his entourage of young Quebec beauties, parades, snow sculptures, ice castles, and outdoor sports drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Despite the cold folks hoot loudly all the while taking in as much of the exciting things that happen all the time.
Some of course will strengthen their resolve by imbibing a bit drinking traditional potent “Caribou” an interesting mix of brandy, vodka, sherry and port which conveniently will come out from their Carnaval plastic canes.
Our hero, Bonhomme is a marketing creation dating to 1954 to spread “joie de vivre” during this festive time. He is a symbol of Québec City and Québécois society. His frost inspired pink cheeks, floppy red hat and sash dates back to the 19th century and the time of Les Patriotes.