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What's something you've done at Dartmouth that you couldn't have done or experienced anywhere else?

A: Adrian Chimboza '25

The verdant landscapes of Dartmouth have been a nurturing ground for countless unique experiences and adventures. Each corner of this hallowed institution holds tales of traditions, trials, and triumphs. As I reflect upon my time here, one distinctive episode encompasses the very essence of Dartmouth – an experience so unique that I'm certain it couldn't have manifested anywhere else.

The Magic of Winter Carnival

To say Dartmouth's Winter Carnival is simply a college festivity would be an understatement. A tradition that took root in 1911, the carnival is an embodiment of Dartmouth's spirit, merging old customs with fresh exuberance. While many universities across the world celebrate the winter season, Dartmouth's carnival is a multiday gala that sees the entire campus transformed into an enchanting winter wonderland. Envision illuminated snow sculptures, trails of laughter, and an entire community bound together by the frosty charm of Hanover's winter.

Racing Down the Slopes: Human Dogsled Races

The exhilaration of the human dogsled race is truly a sight to behold. Amidst the icy gusts and snowflakes, teams of students become the very sled dogs they mimic, pulling sleds (and their giggling peers) across the Green. The landscape echoes with cheer, playful banter, and a zestful spirit of competition. Every shout, laugh, and tumble in the snow symbolizes the deep-rooted camaraderie of Dartmouth students, and the feeling of being a part of such a tradition is nothing short of magical.

Dartmouth's Ice Sculpting Extravaganza

Now, consider this – a chilly winter day, students wrapped up in scarves and mittens, wielding chisels and chainsaws, meticulously sculpting gigantic blocks of ice. This isn't a scene from a movie but a live canvas of Dartmouth during the carnival. From recreating iconic Dartmouth symbols like the Baker Tower to conjuring imaginative designs such as soaring eagles or mythical creatures, the ice sculpting event is a testament to the creativity and tenacity of Dartmouth students. Engaging in this age-old Dartmouth tradition, I felt an exhilarating blend of cold fingers, warm camaraderie, and boundless creativity.

Midnight Snowball Fights and Silent Discos

Imagine the thrill of a snowball fight under the shimmering canopy of a midnight winter sky. Dartmouth amplifies this thrill by hosting impromptu snowball duels that witness participation from hundreds of students. The sprawling Green, bathed in the silvery glow of moonlight and sporadic streetlights, becomes an arena for epic showdowns. The culmination of this chilly revelry? A silent disco where students, headphones in place, groove to individual tunes. Despite the seeming silence, there's a palpable connection in the air, creating memories destined to be cherished.

A Historic Dive: Learning the Legacy

The Winter Carnival isn't just about festivities; it's a journey through time. My quest to understand its legacy led me to the treasure trove of Dartmouth's Rauner Special Collections Library. Here, amidst age-old documents, I traveled through time, experiencing the carnival through the eyes of Dartmouth denizens from decades ago. The archival photographs, personal letters, and newspaper clippings painted a vivid narrative of the carnival's evolution, offering a juxtaposition of time-tested traditions and contemporary innovations.

Between Timeless Echoes and New Dawn Horizons

In the heart of Hanover, where the pines whisper tales of yesteryears, Dartmouth stands as a beacon of cherished memories and new adventures. The Winter Carnival is one such melody that intertwines the old with the new. As I ponder upon these events, waves of gratitude crash over me for every moment experienced, and an eager anticipation bubbles for the stories yet to be written.

For more information visit,

Collis Center for Student Involvement at Dartmouth

Dartmouth's Winter Carnival

Dartmouth News: "Highlights of Winter Carnival 2023"

Dartmouth News: "Winter Carnival Sculptures"

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