Thursday, 12th February 2015
In Events In Japan,
Sapporo Snow Festival wraps up another year
The 66th annual Sapporo Snow Festival has wrapped up for another year, following an exciting week that once again entertained thousands of visitors.
One of the most popular annual celebrations in Japan, the festival features awe-inspiring sculptures crafted out of snow and ice, and attracts talented creatives from all across the globe.
Visitors to the 2015 event had a lot to talk about, with beautifully crafted statues of fictitious characters among the major talking points.
A Star Wars-themed creation from the 11th Brigade of the Ground Self-Defense Forces (GSDF) stole much of the limelight. Measuring 23 metres wide and weighing in at 3,500 tons of snow, it featured Darth Vader, his Stormtroopers and a gigantic Death Star.
The design was approved by LucasFilm, according to the organisers, in anticipation of the new Star Wars film set to be released at the end of the year. It is the latest in a string of highly publicised snow sculptures by the GSDF, who have participated in the festival every year since 1955.
Other popular characters to make appearances in snow form included Anna, Elsa and Olaf from the hugely popular Disney film Frozen, while popular anime characters from Evangelion and Studio Ghibli films were also created.
In total, more than 200 sculptures were available for visitors to see and take photos of, with snow-made replicas of famous buildings such as the Parthenon and Manila Cathedral proving popular.
Sapporo Snow Festival has been held every year since 1950 and became internationally renowned when the city hosted the 1972 Winter Olympic Games. Some 2.4 million people attended in 2014.
For those who missed out on this year's event, there's always the 67th to look forward to in 2016.
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Osaka gears up for festival-filled February (2nd January 2015)