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Sapporo Snow Festival

During the Sapporo Snow Festival (every February), massive snow sculptures turn Sapporo, Japan into a winter dreamland of crystal and white.

Here's how the sculptors make them:

1. They start with good plans. Based on the desk plan, a wooden frame is built and filled with tightly packed snow. This frame also serves as scaffolding.

2. Once the packed snow is hardened, the frame panels are removed and the carving begins.

3. A small model is used as a guide. Hatchets and shovels are used to outline the sculpture, and then the details are added. Because warmer daytime temperatures make the sculptures fragile, many sculptors work at night.

4. When the sculpture is completed, the scaffolding is removed. Snowfall and icicles that have formed on the sculpture are trimmed off.

The snow doesn't last as long as marble, but hey, it's cool while it lasts!

Click pictures for more information and credits.
Library: Snow, Ice, Cold Places
More Ice Sculptures: Harbin Ice Festival
Or stay in an Ice Hotel!
Links: Cold Places
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports
News Stories: Harbin Festival, Ice Hotel

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