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Québec City is renowned for its large annual festivals.
Carnaval de Québec February t 418 626 3716, w carnaval.qc.ca. Held in the depths of winter, when large quantities of the warming Caribou – a lethal mix of red wine, spirits and spices – are consumed amid parades and ice-sculpture competitions, all presided over by the mascot snowman called Bonhomme Carnaval.
St-Jean Baptiste Day June 24. The provincial holiday, when an outpouring of Québécois pride spills onto the streets in a massive celebration, with the entire city decked with thousands of fleur-de-lis flags.
Festival d’Été Eleven days in July t 418 529 5200, t 1 888 992 5200, w infofestival.com. The largest festival of francophone culture in North America and the biggest outdoor music festival in Canada, it includes several major international acts, and everyone is roped in to the celebration, with restaurants offering discounts and all of Québec’s major performers pitching up to lead the party from open-air stages all over town.
Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France Aug t 418 694 3311, t 1 866 391 3383, w nouvellefrance.qc.ca. Great fun, as Basse-Ville returns to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: thousands of Québécois from around the province dress up in period costume, often ones they’ve sewn themselves.

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