Ok I can’t resist one more ice carving and snow festival post. One of my well traveled readers, Sandra Taylor, mentioned that she lived in Sapporo Japan, a city that is well known for their annual Snow Festival. I started looking at photos of the Sapporo Snow Festival and was again amazed enough to want to share these photos with you.
The last few months have been winter season in many countries and there were a number of ice and snow festival celebrations going on.
The Sapporo Snow Festival is Japan’s Largest Winter Event
The Sapporo Snow Festival draws in over 2 million visitors to Japan! How did it all start? Well, I was interested to learn that the Sapporo Snow Festival was inspired by a group of local high school students!
In 1950, six students decided to build snow sculptures in a central park in Sapporo, which gained them some local media attention. This happened during an important time because Japan was still recovering from the war. The action and enthusiasm of these students helped to spread a sense of hope for the local people. The word continued to spread throughout Sapporo and the Snow Festival was born.
The Snow Festival in Sapporo takes place in February of each year and lasts for seven days. The city is transformed into a real life winter wonderland, with hundreds of ice and snow sculptures on display for visitors and local people to enjoy.
Of course, a snow festival in Japan wouldn’t be complete without live music and entertainment, a “Queen of Ice” beauty contest, as well as ice carving and snow sculpture demonstrations. In one area of Sapporo called Susukino, carving artists can put their skills to the test by tackling 130 kilogram blocks of ice using chain saws and power tools!
Photos of the 2012 Sapporo Snow Festival
February 2012 marks Sapporo’s 63rd Snow Festival. Have a look at some of the sculptures from this year’s event. One of themes from this year’s Snow Festival is the celebration of Japan’s relationship with other countries.
Two of the structures that were chosen to be featured included Taiwan’s National Palace Museum and India’s Taj Mahal:
The ice carvings were especially enchanting at night when lit up with colored lights.
Here is the snow version of the Taj Mahal lit up after dark:
Among the largest snow sculptures this year was the Snow Aquarium:
Aren’t these sea creatures cute? Not to mention extremely well carved with great detail.
This next photo, taken at night, gives you an idea of how large the Snow Aquarium sculptures are:
A replica of the Japan’s Tsurugajo Castle was built at the snow festival to represent the country’s unique architecture.
Here is a view of this amazing sculpture at night:
These were only a few of the spectacular ice carvings and snow sculptures at the Sapporo Snow Festival this year. It’s not hard to see why the festival draws in so many visitors around the globe!
Ice and Snow Festival Events Around the World
Wow! I hope you were as impressed with Sapporo’s Snow Festival as I was when I first saw the photos.
If you’d like to take a look at some other ice carving and snow sculptures in Alberta, Canada or in Harbin, China – you will really enjoy seeing the photos in my recent posts:
Thanks for joining me on our mini tour to Japan for the Sapporo Snow Festival!