The month of December is almost over, but there is still plenty let of winter in case you haven’t managed to do any winter activities yet. One of the best things about winter, in addition to the holidays and the winter sports, are the festivals. Evey country has its winter festivals, and while they all originate from different traditions and customs, they all have one thing in common: their main goal is to allow people to have fun. So prepare yourself with a mug for mulled wine and good cheer, and enjoy the top 5 winter festivals in 2011.
Carnaval de Quebec, Quebec City, Canada
The Carnaval de Quebec is the yearly celebration of the city’s anniversary, and it is celebrated from January 28 until February 14. Among the many interesting activities that you can watch or even participate in are the canoe race on the St. Lawrence river, dog sled racing on the streets of the historic quarter, extravagant float parades and traditional dances. The Carnaval is the typical winter festival, with lots of winter sports, outdoor fun and traditional winter treats.
Saranac Winter Festival, New York
The Saranac Winter Festival has been celebrated every year for over 120 years, and it never fails to draw a huge crowd of people. Many of the events are humorous, for example the Lawn Chair Ladies. There is also an impressive fireworks show, and a huge palace built every year out of ice. This year’s festival takes place between February 4 and 13, so you still have time to train for the Ladies’ Fry Pan Toss.
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
Mardi Gras is not everyone’s idea of a winter festival, especially if you’re celebrating it in the stifling Louisiana temperature, but it is definitely one of the most exciting events of the year. Countless parties are taking place in the French Quarter, there are amazing floats parading through the city, and the lucky Mardi Gras beads are thrown in every direction.
Winterlude, Ottawa, Canada
For three weeks every February, the Canadian capital is transformed into a winter wonderland that will make you feel like a child again. Snowflake Kingdom is the largest snow playground in the country, and there are lots of things you can do, even as an adult. You can have some fun on the snow slides, admire the ice statues and try out your ice skating skills.
Frozen Dead Guy Days, Nederland, Colorado
This definitely isn’t the most popular festival in the US, but it is definitely one of the weirdest ones. The festival is named after a local incident when a resident kept her dead father in the shed for the entire winter. A law was passed against keeping corpses, but the residents still celebrate the incident with their festival. There is a lot of van smashing, snowshoe races, psychic readings and, of course, coffin racing.