Bonhomme is the official representative of the Quebec Winter Carnival. White as snow and clad in the red toque and arrow sash of our heroic past, Bonhomme embodies the j oie de vivre of Quebecers!
BONHOMME MADE HIS PUBLIC DEBUT IN FRONT OF PORTE SAINT-LOUIS ON JANUARY 9, 1955, INVITING EVERYONE TO CELEBRATE DURING THE THREE WEEKS PRIOR TO THE CARNIVAL.
Wilfrid Hamel, then mayor of Quebec City, offered him the Key to the City for the first time moments after. The mayor of Quebec City still gives Bonhomme the Key at each Carnival opening night to this day, symbolically confirming his uncontested status of master of celebrations and King of the festivities. No wonder Bonhomme is now an international symbol of winter tourism!
Our Bonhomme is quite unlike those seen in Europe. The European bonhomme is an inanimate straw or wooden doll that’s set aflame on Shrove Tuesday to symbolize rebirth and the return of spring.
Our Bonhomme Carnaval instead simply departs when the Carnival ends, only to return, joyful as ever, come the following winter! Where could he be in the meantime? Hard to say! He’s quite a mysterious character. Even his origins are more than a little puzzling. At the dawn of the contemporary Carnival, our founders, Louis-Philippe Plamondon, Wilbrod Bherer and Louis Paré, created their own version of a character meant to bring the pleasures of winter everywhere. This character, our Bonhomme, soon came to life, as if the festive spirit of the locals conjured him into existence. He just as quickly responded to our founders’ call, taking our celebrations under his wing and making them into the bundle of joy we know today!
Ever since day one, Bonhomme has been spreading the wonders and magic of winter everywhere he sets foot. After all, isn’t he a little bit magical himself?
LEARN ALL THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT BONHOMME…
First Name: Bonhomme
Last Name: Carnaval
Year of Birth: 1954
Hometown: Quebec City
Height: 7 feet
Weight: 400 pounds of packed snow