The winter has arrived and we love it! Among the many activities that can be done this season, one of our favorites is the snow festivals. Therefore, we leave you a list of the most impressive in the world. You will love them!
Harbin Snow and Ice Festival – Harbin, China
This snow and ice sculpture festival is one of Harbin’s top tourist attractions, as well as the world’s largest winter celebration. It takes place every year between the months of December and February, a period during which it receives up to 15 million visitors. The most surprising is its large ice sculptures illuminated with colored lights, which can measure up to 46 meters in height.
Kiruna Snow Festival – Kiruna, Sweden
This festival in the town of Kiruna in Sweden has activities for the whole family, from art exhibitions and competitions skiing and dog sledding to areas of games for children made entirely of snow. In addition, they organize an ice sculpture contest that each year is more impressive. You cannot lose this!
Sapporo Snow Festival – Sapporo, Japan
Odori Park, Susukino and Tsudome are the three main locations for this festival in Sapporo, Japan that originated in 1950 with just six snow statues made by students from a local high school. Today, it is a great event in which it is possible to appreciate hundreds of sculptures and participate in winter activities such as snow rafting.
Ice Music Festival – Finse, Norway
This festival combines the scenery of Norway’s astonishing snow-capped mountains with the music of international artists to create the perfect winter setting. The program for this 2019 includes a concert focused on relaxation. Another focused on creating sounds with water and some more electronic music in an ice lounge.
Quebec Carnival – Canada
The Quebec Carnival is one of the most famous winter events in the world. Since its inception in 1894, it is a must for both locals and tourists. Among the highlights of the program are the canoe race, the ax throwing competition, the winter wrestling event and, of course, the iconic parade.
The International Snow Sculpture Competition
The 25th Snow Festival took place during the difficult times of 1974. Due to the second oil crisis, it was impossible to provide enough fuel for transporting the snow, which threatened the celebration festival. To solve the problem of the lack of snow, up to 800 barrels were used that were placed inside the medium and large-size sculptures, which allowed the celebration of the festival. However, concern was maintained about the possibility that at some point they would collapse. The sculptures since, by including the barrels inside, the snow would melt more easily.
On the other hand, from 1974 the festival became more international. The “International Snow Sculpture Contest” was born to deepen friendly relations with other countries. In the first contest, six teams participated representing Canada, France, South Korea, South Vietnam (the current Socialist Republic of Vietnam), the United States, and Japan, which excited the visitors with their different peculiarities. From then on, the festival grew as a great international event with the participation of other countries such as Canada, Germany, and Australia, or regions such as Shenyang (China), Portland (United States) or Daejeon (South Korea), which have close ties with the city of Sapporo, with its respective creative snow statues.
At the 34th festival in 1983, a third stage came on the scene, the “Susukino stage,” whose particularity was not the snow figures but the ice figures. These ice figures were lined up on the main street of the “red-light district” at night, gaining popularity for their beauty under the glow of neon lights. The Makomanai stage was closed in 2005, and in its current place, the second stage is the “Tsudōmu” stage, Sapporo’s community dome.
However, the same idea of promoting fun with the snow that existed at the time of the Makomanai scene has been maintained, with elements such as the slide or the snow rafting track. The enclosure was also reinforced with large rest areas and spaces to eat and a square for families. It has become a place where you can calmly enjoy the beauty of Hokkaidō’s winter. This is one of the three different scenarios that can be enjoyed on the snow festival tour.