Ice Festivals In The World
During the winter, it’s hard to resist the temptation to be locked up and cozy. Fortunately, many places in the world have tried to battle the winter blahs with incredible ice festivals.
The art of ice carving was initially taught in the cooking school, but has since moved from cooking to the outdoors. Today, hundreds of teams of ice and snow sculpture artists from around the world often gather in the Northern Hemisphere to celebrate ice festivals and compete in sculpture. The ice carving competition results in some of the best works of art that draw thousands of spectators. Below, we will outline some of the most incredible winter festivals around the world.
Ice Music Festival – Geilo
Hundreds of music lovers and artists attend this festival which takes ice sculpture to a new level. Artists come together on the first full moon of the year to create working musical instruments from ice and snow. Instruments such as guitars, violins, harps and even stringed instruments are among the most popular at festivals. The performers then stage themselves to play their freezing instruments which produce some of the unique instruments. The performance takes place in a purpose-built igloo
International Festival – Snow and Ice Sculpture Competition – Krasnoyarsk
The International Ski and Ice Sculpture Festival marks the beginning of each new year. The festival takes place annually on the frozen banks of the Yenisei River in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Teams from the US, China and Japan travel to Siberia’s third largest city to compete in ice and snow categories under a unique theme. The festival involves the creation of fortresses, labyrinths and mythical objects in line with the theme of the year. Special workshops led by experts are also open for visitors who would like to try their hand at ice and snow carving.
Ice on Whyte Festival – Edmonton
Ice on Whyte Festival is a 10-day outdoor ice art that’s accompanied by loads of food, music, and fun. The ice festival kicks off every January 23 when the temperature in Edmonton is at its lowest, with artists carving ice as far as Russia, Latvia, New Zealand and Malaysia competing with local artists. Other fun snow-based activities, such as the giant ice slide and ice carving classes, run parallel to the carving competition.
International Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival – Paris
The international snow and ice sculpture festival takes place on the Valloire-Galibier property, on the ski resort. The festival is in its 26th year and takes place in every January over a two week period. During the festival, the resort comes alive with music, lighting and numerous icy activities. The opening ceremony is often accompanied by a free concert while the closing ceremony features fireworks. The competition attracts a team of sculptors from all over the world who take part in the creation of some of the fantastic arts of ice with the winners honored for their creativity.
Quebec Carnival in Quebec – Quebec City
The Quebec Winter Carnival offers snow lovers from Canada and around the world the chance to celebrate and enjoy all things winter over the past 60 years. It is the largest winter carnival in the world, offering over 200 activities throughout the city of Quebec. Some of the more popular activities include sleigh competitions, hockey matches, and parades. Snow sculptures and soap box derby are among festival favorites, as well as visit the carnival mascot known as “Bonhomme” in the huge ice palace. The Quebec Winter Carnival takes place annually from January 28 to mid-February.
International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival – Harbin
Dates back to the early 1960s when it started out as a lantern and garden party before turning into the big event we see today. The ice sculptures are carved from large blocks of ice obtained from the surface of the Songhua River. Sculptors battle each other to create the largest and most extravagant work not only in the festival but on the planet. Some of the ice arts created resemble buildings, animals, and other mystical creatures. The ice festival starts every January 5, but with weather permitting, it can start earlier.