Yesterday was the start of Hamlet Days in Baker Lake. Hamlet Days is a week-long annual spring celebration that is held in each community around Nunavut and is a way for local residents to celebrate the return of spring and the warmer weather as a community after the long, dark and cold winter. In the Kivalliq and Qikiqtani regions, the spring festival is known as Hamlet Days, in the Kitikmeot region it is known as Frolics and in Iqaluit it is known as Toonik Tyme. This year’s celebration will include Inuit games, snowmobile races and square dancing (I think there is square dance every night!) and much more fun events for all ages.
Tonight, I went on the ice to see the ‘45 Gallon Sled Race‘ and the ‘5 Gallon on Skin Race‘. Basically, the ‘45 Gallon Sled Race‘ involves the participants pulling a qamutiik loaded with an empty 45 gallon barrel with his/her snowmachine. The barrel is not tied down and the objective is to run the full course without the barrel falling off the qamutiik. This might sound easy but it is harder than it looks. The racers are travelling on uneven snow conditions and the barrels kept falling off but it did look like fun!! The objective of the ‘5 Gallon on Skin Race‘ is similar to the ‘45 Gallon Sled Race‘ but in this case the participants have to pull an empty 5 gallon Jerry can that is placed on a caribou skin with his/her snowmachine. Again, it is harder than it looks:) – Sophia
45 Gallon Sled Race – Women’s Event
5 Gallon on Skin Race