|General Description :
||Since its inception in 1954, the Quebec Winter Carnival has promoted a sense of merriment and good humour. That year business and civic authorities resurrected a winter carnival which had expired in the late 19th century. A spiritual descendant of Champlain's Order of Good Cheer, the new festival banished the discontents of February. The event no rates with the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro and the Mardi Gras New Orleans as one of the worlds great pre-Lenten festival Revellers prepare for the "fun blitz" by equipping themselves with a red tuque, a sash, and a hollow cane containing refreshing elixir. They then indulge in parades, fireworks displays, singing, dancing, various types of racing, hock and other winter sports. The genial "Bonhomme Carnaval", a seven-foot talking snowman, keeps a watchful eye on the amusements. "Put care aside for the period of my reign and share the joy of all my subjects," he exhorts. The Carnival starts when "Bonhomme Carnaval" arrives, and ends when he "melts" for another year. The joyous spirit of the Carnival has been faithfully rendered by Antoine Dumas, Quebec City artist, in his gouache illustration for this stamp. The celebrants are wearing traditional Canadian winter garb, with the red tuque and the gaily patterned wool sash called the "ceinture f1échée".