Canada Special: The Ice Hog Legend and Winterlude

People line up for beaver tails during Winterlude Festival on the Rideau Canal, ©Vince Alongi/Flickr

People line up for beaver tails during Winterlude Festival on the Rideau Canal, ©Vince Alongi/Flickr

There is a legend in Canada which says that a few thousand years ago when the earth was covered in ice was the Ice Age. During that time there was a group of magical creatures, furry little animals, which crossed the bridge of ice at the Bering Strait and went to Alaska all away from Russia. Later they travelled to the Far North which today is Canada.  I’m sure that everybody has guessed by now that these mysteriously magical creatures were the ice hogs, the very close relatives of ground hogs. They are very similar to ground hogs except that they are larger and more mysterious. Ice hogs love winter and the snow that comes with it. Every year there is a great celebration which waves goodbye to winter, it’s called Winterlude.

Ice hogs in the summer

After Winterlude the Ice Hogs go to rest in a nice, cold and cozy place where the warmth of summer can’t reach them. They go into hibernation all summer and wake up only when the snowy weather comes back.

Winterlude – goodbye to winter

Slides, ©Kasia/flickr/Flickr

Slides, ©Kasia/flickr/Flickr

Ice Hogs were hiding for a very long time from humans but about 30 years ago something interesting happened which drew their attention and made them come out: it was the Winterlude, an amazing winter celebration. The thought of Winterlude sounded like a lot of fun so Mr. Ice Hog decided to go and see it with his own eyes. When the people saw him they were very much surprised by the magical visitor. As they started to know get to know each other the locals and Mr. Ice Hog agreed to make him the mascot of Winterlude so he would come back to celebrate at the festival every year. The next year Mr. Ice Hog brought with the whole family: Mrs. Ice Hog and their two children, Nuomi and Nuoma.

People line up for beaver tails during Winterlude Festival on the Rideau Canal, ©Vince Alongi/Flickr

People line up for beaver tails during Winterlude Festival on the Rideau Canal, ©Vince Alongi/Flickr

Winterlude activities and the magic of the Canal

The Ice Hog family got to love the Capital region so much as they come even earlier to visit, before the Winterlude. They take residence in Jacques Cartier Park and play in the snow all day, watch the people having gun, look at the beautiful ice sculptures and give furry hugs to the children passing by. This might be a secret, but I will tell you, that they also go a lot to the Canal which is said to have magic doorways used the Ice Hog family to go back and forth.

A typical view of the Rideau Canal in/Flickr

A typical view of the Rideau Canal in/Flickr

Come to the Capital region of Canada and meet the Ice Hogs in person, listen to the music and all kinds of performances together with Canada’s favorite furry friends.

 

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