World Snow Festivals

As parts of Britain are waking up to their second morning under a carpet of snow (and there’s more on the way) we thought we’d take a look at some of the best things to do with the stuff – And what better to do than throw a festival in it? Just make sure you wrap up warm!

Sapporo Snow Festival

Image from Chris Spackman

The renowned Sapporo snow festival is held in February each year in Odori Park in Sapporo, North Japan. Artists come from around the world to create amazing snow sculptures. There are an average of 400 sculptures to marvel at, usually based around popular themes like anime or Harry Potter. There are also ice slides, an ice maze and stages for musical performances.

Kiruna Snow Festival

Image from gloobbi

If Japan seems a little far to travel then check out Sweden’s version – the Kiruna Snow Festival. Held in Kiruna in the deep north of Sweden (140 kilometres inside the Arctic circle in fact). For that journey you’ll be rewarded with more incredible snow sculptures, as well as the world’s largest igloo which holds an art gallery on the inside. There’s also a winter fashion show – The swedes are great at looking stylish in the cold – and reindeer racing.

Montreal Snow Festival

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Canada’s biggest snow celebration is the Fête des Neiges de Montréal held over three weekends in late January and early February. The Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal is transformed into a winter wonderland with snowy activities on offer including inner tubing, sliding, skating and something called kicksledding. There’s also a hockey tournament, presumably on ice, and loads of live shows inside a biosphere.

European Music & Winter Festivals

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There are now several big festivals held annually at some of Europe’s most popular ski resorts, pulling in big name bands. The Brits is the longest-running festival held each year in the Swiss resort of Laax. 2011’s Event, to be held in March promises seven nights of live music and DJ acts, alongside snow parks, the chance to see world-class athletes show off and of course fit some skiing in during the day! Other options include Snowbombing in Austria. It’s now in it’s 12th year and offers fancy dress, late-night revelry and igloo raves in a spectacular alpine setting. Or you can try newcomer The Big Snow Festival in Andorra – which again has another amazing line-up of international bands and DJs and snow-based fun.

Freeze Festival

Freeze Festival
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Sadly we’ve already missed the UK’s biggest snow festival – the Freeze Festival was held at Battersea Power Station in London back in October. A massive real snow ramp was constructed for freestyle skiing and snowboarding competitions, whilst inside the old power station there was live music and packed DJ sets.

Top image from -just-jen-