Bonhomme is the official representative of the Quebec Winter Carnival. Snow white, he proudly wears the red tuque and arrow sash of the heroes of our past. This living representation of the Québécois’ joie de vivre is represented by an Effigy modeled after him.
Bonhomme became a part of people’s lives on November 17, 1954, when representations of our now beloved snowman first appeared throughout Quebec City.
We’d have to wait until January, 9, 1955 for Bonhomme to make his first public appearance: on that day, he stood atop his own parade float in front of porte Saint-Louis. He then spoke up for the first time, inviting the population to celebrate during the three weeks preceding the Carnival, which launched on February 1, 1955. Then mayor of Quebec City Wilfrid Hamel soon proceeded to offer Bonhomme the Key to the City. To this day, on each Carnival opening night, the mayor of Quebec City gives Bonhomme the Key, symbolically confirming his role as King of the festivities.
Our Bonhomme is quite unlike those seen in Europe. The European bonhomme is an inanimate doll of straw or wood that ends up being burnt on Shrove Tuesday to symbolize the rebirth of spring. Our Bonhomme Carnaval, on the other hand, simply departs when the Carnival is over, only to return with the same joy come the next winter!
Learn more about Bonhomme
First name: Bonhomme
Last name: Carnaval
Year of birth: 1954
City of birth: Quebec City
Height: 7 feet
Weight: 400 pounds of compacted snow
Favourite colors: White and red
Favourite treats: Ice cream and sorbet
Distinctive motion: Lifing his leg
Best friends: Fans of winter!
Childhood friend: Santa Claus
Greatest quality: Joie de vivre
Famous words: Merry Carnival!
Biggest dream: Reverse global warming
Notoriety: Public personality most spontaneously associated with Quebec City