A timeless tradition in Isle-aux-Grues

Once celebrated all around the province, just a few municipalities still celebrate the Mi-Carême nowadays. If you want to relive the great nights that entertain our ancestors, you really should pay a visit to the island. The islanders will welcome you with open arms and festive nights, colored costumes, breathtaking landscapes and mystery will be on the menu for sure!

Each year, at the beginning of March, magic gets over the island when the Mi-Carême week is in full swing because those festivities give the islanders a break from the winter. During this special week, the islanders wear their colored costumes and go from house to house while trying to hide their real identities.

According to the tradition, the seamstresses on the island make their new costumes in total secrecy, as they covered their windows so that nobody can take a peek at their work. The secrecy of the costume is very precious for them and to see various examples of their creativity, you’ll have to visit the Bateau ivre where more than 20 costumes are displayed.

The Mi-Carême… what is it all about?

Picture this. It’s Friday night, 5 PM, and the phone rings. One of your neighbor offers you to form a small group for the Mi-Carême and tell you that the group will be at your home at 7 PM. A musketeer, a midget, a pirate… What costume to choose? Let’s go for the musketeer! When the last member of the group has arrived, you take your sword and off you go through the neighborhood! You let yourself in the first house and show your dancing moves to your neighbors. As you wear a costume and a mask, will they recognized you? It is, however, the purpose of the game!

When the dance is over, you reveal your identities and you go visit another house, and then another one, so on and so forth. When the visits are over, everybody gathers at the same place for a drink or two, celebrating the last minutes of the Mi-Carême, and already thinking of next year’s costumes…