When the snow starts to fall and the temperatures drop, most of us head indoors to stay warm. But not everyone! Some people celebrate the winter season by heading outdoors to take part in weird and wonderful winter festivals from all around the world.
1. Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan
Every year, the city of Sapporo in Japan holds a Snow Festival. The festival started in 1950 when a group of high school students built six snow statues in Odori Park. Now, the festival attracts over two million visitors each year and features hundreds of snow and ice sculptures, many of which are created by professional artists.
2. Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, China
The Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in Harbin, China is the largest of its kind in the world. The festival runs for over a month, from early January to late February, and features massive snow and ice sculptures that are lit up at night. Visitors can also go ice skating, take part in sledding and skiing, and visit an ice and snow amusement park.
3. Reindeer Races, Finland
In Rovaniemi, Finland, you can watch reindeer race each other down a snow-covered track. The reindeer races are held every year as part of the Santa Claus Village Festival and usually take place in late February or early March.
4. Yukigassen, Japan
Yukigassen is a Japanese winter sport that is similar to Capture the Flag. Two teams of seven players each throw snowballs at each other in an attempt to capture the other team’s flag. The sport was invented in the 1980s and has since grown in popularity, with Yukigassen tournaments now being held all over the world.
5. International Snow Sculpture Contest, Switzerland
Every year, the town of Bern, Switzerland hosts an International Snow Sculpture Contest. The contest attracts teams of snow sculptors from all over the world who compete to create the best snow sculpture. The sculptures are usually large and complex, and they are typically left on display for several weeks for people to admire.