And talking about snow, how about a snow festival?
Whilst in Russia the authorities cope with the stinky, greasy, colourful snow that ornaments the surroundings of the city of Omsk, in the Japanese city of Sapporo will start tomorrow the Snow Festival, a yearly venue dedicated, among other things, to promoting international relations and perhaps to celebrate the fact that we still have some pure, white snowfalls in some regions of the world.
The 58th edition of this festival will take place until February 12, 2007. Some of the events to be held include the formation of snow statues, skiing activities, photo and poster exhibitions, and ice sculptures. This year, a total of 18 teams will contest in the various contests programmed for the festival. There are teams representing the United States, China, Shanghai (separately from China), South Korea, Germany and Finland. Some other teams are coming from regions with little or no winter activity tradition (not even the presence of snow for years!), such as Thailand, Hawaii, India and Mexico (the lattermost does have some yearly snow, but it's not a country with real winter traditions anyway).
Typically, all of the teams build impressive snow and ice monuments that leave people breathless (click here to see some sculptures contesting in recent years), and we're not expecting to get disappointed in this year's festival.
The Sapporo Snow Festival is an interesting event unknown by many, but it's good to see it still alive!
Click here to visit the festival's official website.