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Snow Sculptures - Amazing Photo Gallery

Updated on April 15, 2016

Have you ever visited some of the Ice and Snow Sculpture Festivals?

If you have, then you know that some things are almost unbelievable even if you see them right in front of you. Just look at a picture of ice and snow sculptures: can you believe your eyes???

If you haven't seen these, enjoy the picture gallery on this hub and think about the next travel place you'll visit!

Ice sculptures

Ice sculpture is abstract or realistic in form, functional or decorative, made of ice (raw material). Carefully selected and free of impurities (ideal carving ice is made from pure, clean water), clear ice is mostly the result of slow freezing allowed by certain machines and processes which produce clear block of ice looking like snow. Some ice carvers use colored ice blocks produced by adding dyes into the ice, or the combination of clear and colored ice to accomplish a certain effect. The quickness of sculpting depends on the temperature of the environment. If the environment isn't cold, the sculptor might spend ten minutes to complete a sculpture (assuming he/she uses razor-sharp chisels specifically designed for cutting ice and power tools like chainsaws and specialty bits fitted to a die grinder).

Snow sculptures

Snow sculptures are forms similar to sand sculptures or ice sculptures. They are built outdoors as an art performance, often in the full view of spectators. The materials and tools differ widely (shovels, hatchets, saws). Usually, they are carved out of a single block of snow (approximately 6 to 15 feet on the sides and weighing about 20 to 30 tons). The snow is either artificially produced or collected from the ground after a snowfall and then densely packed into a form.

This art form is traditionally taught in culinary schools. Some large restaurants or hotels use ice sculptures to decorate the table for a special dinner party. A popular theme for a wedding party are two swans representing the married couple.

The lifetime of ice and snow sculptures is determined by the temperature of its environment. It can last from mere minutes to months.

Snow sculptures picture gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Harbin 2009 Ice & Snow Festival: Snow Train with a Steam Engine on each side. The wagons are partly carved out for visitors to go inside.  This photo was taken by flickr user frankartculinary.A snow walrus sculpture in Mudanjiang city, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, 2008. Knitting Hands Sculpture: the entry of the Alberta team won the People's Choice Award at Winterlude's National Snow Sculpture Competition in Ottawa.The winning sculpture of the Harbin Snow Festival.City of Harbin, China: Romantic Feelings is a staggering 115ft high and 656ft long sculpture - the largest snow sculpture ever created. Harbin 2008: Romantic feelingsHarbin 2008: Romantic feelings2005 International Snow Sculpture Championships: First Place and Artist's Choice (USA [Tennessee], Nautilus.Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) in February 2005.World's Biggest Santa Snow Sculpture (160 meters long and 24 meters high) in Harbin, China.Snow Sculpture at Harbin Ice And Snow Festival.Disney on Ice at Sapporo Snow Festival.Snow Sculpture entry for the 1952 Winter Carnival contest at Rensselaer.
Harbin 2009 Ice & Snow Festival: Snow Train with a Steam Engine on each side. The wagons are partly carved out for visitors to go inside.  This photo was taken by flickr user frankartculinary.
Harbin 2009 Ice & Snow Festival: Snow Train with a Steam Engine on each side. The wagons are partly carved out for visitors to go inside. This photo was taken by flickr user frankartculinary.
A snow walrus sculpture in Mudanjiang city, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, 2008.
A snow walrus sculpture in Mudanjiang city, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, 2008.
Knitting Hands Sculpture: the entry of the Alberta team won the People's Choice Award at Winterlude's National Snow Sculpture Competition in Ottawa.
Knitting Hands Sculpture: the entry of the Alberta team won the People's Choice Award at Winterlude's National Snow Sculpture Competition in Ottawa.
The winning sculpture of the Harbin Snow Festival.
The winning sculpture of the Harbin Snow Festival.
City of Harbin, China: Romantic Feelings is a staggering 115ft high and 656ft long sculpture - the largest snow sculpture ever created.
City of Harbin, China: Romantic Feelings is a staggering 115ft high and 656ft long sculpture - the largest snow sculpture ever created.
Harbin 2008: Romantic feelings
Harbin 2008: Romantic feelings
Harbin 2008: Romantic feelings
Harbin 2008: Romantic feelings
2005 International Snow Sculpture Championships: First Place and Artist's Choice (USA [Tennessee], Nautilus.
2005 International Snow Sculpture Championships: First Place and Artist's Choice (USA [Tennessee], Nautilus.
Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) in February 2005.
Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) in February 2005.
World's Biggest Santa Snow Sculpture (160 meters long and 24 meters high) in Harbin, China.
World's Biggest Santa Snow Sculpture (160 meters long and 24 meters high) in Harbin, China.
Snow Sculpture at Harbin Ice And Snow Festival.
Snow Sculpture at Harbin Ice And Snow Festival.
Disney on Ice at Sapporo Snow Festival.
Disney on Ice at Sapporo Snow Festival.
Snow Sculpture entry for the 1952 Winter Carnival contest at Rensselaer.
Snow Sculpture entry for the 1952 Winter Carnival contest at Rensselaer.

Ice sculptures picture gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Ice sculptures (around 1,000) by Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo melt on the steps of Berlin's Concert Hall at the Gendarmenmarkt. Ice sculptures (around 1,000) by Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo melt on the steps of Berlin's Concert Hall at the Gendarmenmarkt. Ice sculptures (around 1,000) by Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo melt on the steps of Berlin's Concert Hall at the Gendarmenmarkt. The Harbin International Ice & Snow Festival.Winterlude2007 World Ice Art Championships Lake Placid, NY Ice FestivalHarbin, China: Fairy tale carriage.
Ice sculptures (around 1,000) by Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo melt on the steps of Berlin's Concert Hall at the Gendarmenmarkt.
Ice sculptures (around 1,000) by Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo melt on the steps of Berlin's Concert Hall at the Gendarmenmarkt.
Ice sculptures (around 1,000) by Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo melt on the steps of Berlin's Concert Hall at the Gendarmenmarkt.
Ice sculptures (around 1,000) by Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo melt on the steps of Berlin's Concert Hall at the Gendarmenmarkt.
Ice sculptures (around 1,000) by Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo melt on the steps of Berlin's Concert Hall at the Gendarmenmarkt.
Ice sculptures (around 1,000) by Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo melt on the steps of Berlin's Concert Hall at the Gendarmenmarkt.
The Harbin International Ice & Snow Festival.
The Harbin International Ice & Snow Festival.
Winterlude
Winterlude
2007 World Ice Art Championships
2007 World Ice Art Championships
Lake Placid, NY Ice Festival
Lake Placid, NY Ice Festival
Harbin, China: Fairy tale carriage.
Harbin, China: Fairy tale carriage.

The most famous Ice and Snow Sculpture festivals are:

  • Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, China
  • The Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan
  • The World Ice Art Championships, Alaska
  • The International Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival "Ice, Snow, and Fire, Russia
  • The Quebec Winter Carnival, Canada

Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival

Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival has been held since 1963 in Harbin (People's Republic of China, Northeast China). The Cultural Revolution interrupted the festival until it was resumed in 1985. This place is one of the biggest sources of ice and snow culture in the world, directly influenced by the cold winter wind from Siberia. The average temperature in wintertime is -16.8 degrees Celsius but it can fall to -38.1 degrees.

The festival starts on January 5th and lasts one month. The exhibits sometimes open earlier and stay longer, depending on the weather. Ice sculptures made in previous years include: lanterns, slippery dips or ice slides, figures including animals, people and mythical creatures, buildings and monuments of different architectural types and styles. The decoration technology ranges from the modern (using lasers) to traditional (with ice lanterns).

The Sapporo Snow Festival

The famous Sapporo Snow Festival has been held in Sapporo (Japan) since 1950. Six local high school students built six snow statues in Odori Park, and in 1955, the Japan Self-Defense Forces (Makomanai base) built the first massive snow sculptures. The 58th Festival (in 2007) was visited by cca. two million people who were anxious to see the hundreds of snow statues and ice sculptures. Today, the festival is held over seven days in February, the main sites currently being Tsudome, Odori Park (International Snow Sculpture Contest since 1974) and Susukino. The total number of statues displayed is around 400.

  • The Quebec Winter Carnival or Carnaval de Québec is a winter carnival taking place in Quebec City (Quebec, Canada) every year. The festival starts on January 29th and lasts 17 days.
  • The World Ice Art Championships is an ice sculpting contest in Fairbanks, Alaska attended by more than 100 sculptors from 30 different countries every year.
  • The International Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival "Ice, Snow, and Fire" has been held since 1995, Perm, Russia (Gorky Amusement Park).

Snow castles and buildings

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Snow sculpture in Sapporo Snow Festival.Full-sized Taj Mahal.The Shenyang International Ice and Snow Festival in Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning Province (January, 2005). Harbin 2009The Ice and Snow Festival in Shenyang, Northeast China.The Ice and Snow Festival in Shenyang, Northeast China.Ice and Snow Festival in Shenyang, China in January 2008.
Snow sculpture in Sapporo Snow Festival.
Snow sculpture in Sapporo Snow Festival.
Full-sized Taj Mahal.
Full-sized Taj Mahal.
The Shenyang International Ice and Snow Festival in Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning Province (January, 2005).
The Shenyang International Ice and Snow Festival in Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning Province (January, 2005).
Harbin 2009
Harbin 2009
The Ice and Snow Festival in Shenyang, Northeast China.
The Ice and Snow Festival in Shenyang, Northeast China.
The Ice and Snow Festival in Shenyang, Northeast China.
The Ice and Snow Festival in Shenyang, Northeast China.
Ice and Snow Festival in Shenyang, China in January 2008.
Ice and Snow Festival in Shenyang, China in January 2008.

Ice castles and buildings

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Building sculpture from RussiaThe Ice Castle at the International Ice Sculpture Competition and Exhibition, Lake Louise, Alberta, 2005.Harbin, ChinaIce sculpture representation of London's famous landmark buildings at Covent Garden in central London.
Building sculpture from Russia
Building sculpture from Russia
The Ice Castle at the International Ice Sculpture Competition and Exhibition, Lake Louise, Alberta, 2005.
The Ice Castle at the International Ice Sculpture Competition and Exhibition, Lake Louise, Alberta, 2005.
Harbin, China
Harbin, China
Ice sculpture representation of London's famous landmark buildings at Covent Garden in central London.
Ice sculpture representation of London's famous landmark buildings at Covent Garden in central London.

The above ice and snow sculptures are the work of many talented sculptors and carvers and they're very hard to make. People need knowledge, adequate tools and machines and a lot of practice to do something similar. But, judging from the picture on the right taken somewhere on the streets, some people are full of ideas of how to make less quality sculptures, but interesting and funny ones! I would have never thought of something like that! :-)

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    • rmcrayne profile image

      rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      Thank you for participating in the Winter Sports HubMob. Your hub has been entered into the Winter Sports HubMob round-up hub.

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 7 years ago from Virginia

      I've always wanted to attend one of these and we even had one locally for several years in a row but somehow I never was able to make it. But this is AMAZING. I am definitely bookmarking it! Thanks for sharing it!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      These pix are simply marvellous! Thanks so much for putting such an interesting gallery together.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • vox vocis profile image
      Author

      Jasmine 7 years ago

      To Ann Nonymous: Thanks for the comment! Hopefully you´ll attend a festival of this kind soon and share your own photos with us! :-)

    • festersporling1 profile image

      Daniel Christian 7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Wow, some of these are REALLY good!

    • vox vocis profile image
      Author

      Jasmine 7 years ago

      To tonymac04: I´m glad you like them. Hopefully we´ll all see them live some day and share experiences!

    • vox vocis profile image
      Author

      Jasmine 7 years ago

      To festersporling1: Thanks for the comment! Glad you found something you like.

    • shoban babu profile image

      shoban babu 7 years ago from Los Angles

      fantastic work.

      Also have a look at the unbelievable mysterious tree through following link

      https://hubpages.com/entertainment/Unbelievable-My...

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

      excellent work and excellent hub.

    • fishtiger58 profile image

      fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois

      That looks like so much fun I would love to attend one of those. Great hub.

    • Rose Kolowinski profile image

      Rose Kolowinski 6 years ago

      It's amazing what a person can make out of ice or snow. Awesome pictures and a super hub!

    • Jaynie2000 profile image

      Jaynie2000 6 years ago

      Amazing! The pictures are awesome and the ideas are so creative and unique. Thanks so much for sharing. I've got a hub to share as well. It's definitely much smaller scale, but super fun to do with your kids.

      https://hubpages.com/family/Building-Snow-Animals

    • GALAXY 59 profile image

      GALAXY 59 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wow! Unbelieveable pictures, simply stunning. Great hub, I could stare at those pictures all day. I might have a go at some ice scultpting myself if our weather here in the UK keeps up!

    • vox vocis profile image
      Author

      Jasmine 6 years ago

      Yes, they are great Galaxy 59. I hope to visit one of the festivals in the future. I am sure it would be an unforgettable experience!

    • RobertDCrandell profile image

      RobertDCrandell 5 years ago

      WOW.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      These ice and snow sculptures are amazing! If you would like to see some ice sculptures made in Houston, Texas check out my hub...January Day at Discovery Green Park in Houston... The artists had to work fast as the day was sunny and warm. It was fun to see them create the works of art before our very eyes. As to snow sculptures, when we were kids growing up in Wisconsin, we made snow forts and of course, snowmen. Nothing quite as fancy as these snow sculptures pictured here! Up votes!

    • vox vocis profile image
      Author

      Jasmine 4 years ago

      Maybe those snow sculptures you made as kids in Wisconsin weren't as fancy as these, but I'm sure it was really fun making them, which is more important :) I'll check that hub for sure, but now I'm off to bed. It's been a long time since I was kept busy commenting until late :) Thanks for a nice evening and interesting conversation, Peggy. Until soon... :)

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 2 years ago

      These are amazing. I like the train best.

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