We’re finally having cold weather–the temperature has been below freezing for the past few days and it finally feels like winter. All of France is having a cold spell thanks to some nice Siberian wind! There’s even a possibility of flurries for this weekend–nothing like the snow they have up in Sapporo, Japan though! Sapporo is located in Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands. It gets 630 cm (248 inches) of snow on average per year. The city hosted Japan’s (and Asia’s) first Winter Olympics in 1972!
I love this postcard of the Sapporo Snow Festival! The festival runs from 6-12 February this year and is expected to attract almost two million visitors. As I write, artists are busy turning blocks of snow and ice into miniature works of art for Monday’s Grand Opening. The festival started in 1950 with a few sculptures designed by local students. The idea took off and it’s grown in popularity and size ever since. There is even an ice sculpture festival that is now celebrating its 32nd year! I can just imagine what it must be like to walk among the sculptures. I’ve never seen snow sculptures in person but seeing the ones they make here out of sand is always an amazing summer moment!
For those of you who can’t afford to go to Japan, Valloire here in the French Alps hosts its own annual Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival. The snow festival is 29 years old–young in comparison to Sapporo but the oldest one here in France. This year’s competition was from 17-27 January with the first half of the festival being devoted to ice sculptures and the second half to snow sculptures. While it’s too late to go this year, you can already start planning to go to next year’s event. Valloire offers plenty of downhill skiing opportunities for those looking for a more hands-on snow experience. Here’s hoping that the girls get a chance to see some snow this weekend. I’ve got my fingers crossed for their own Breton snow moment…or should I say second!