More than just snowmen or forts in your backyard, here are 22 exceptional snow sculptures from around the world.

SNOW HAS THE POWER to completely transform a landscape; it’s an almost magical moment to look out the window and see your world covered in white. Snow can itself be transformed into works of art, temporary of course, but dazzling in spite of, or perhaps because of their temporary nature.

Feature image: Irish Typepad.

1

Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival

Ice Dinosaurs are a centerpiece from the 2004 Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan. The annual festival attracts around 2 million visitors.Photo: Starfires

2

Largest Snow Sculpture

"Romantic Feelings" measured 115 feet high and 656 feet long. It was built for China's 2008 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival (Daily Mail). Photo: EmmaJG

3

Inuit Snow Sculpture

A bit of India in China at the 2008 Harbin Snow FestivalPhoto: StrudelMonkey

Intermission
15

10 of the most impressive mosaics around the world

by Carlo Alcos
2

10 hottest up and coming art fairs worldwide

by Julie Schwietert
1

Ullr Fest: Honoring the snow god in Breckenridge, CO

by Hal Amen
4

Japanese Ice Sculpture

Japanese warrior snow sculpture from the 2006 Air Canada Snow Sculpture Challenge in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada.Photo: Yukon White Light

5

Taj Mahal in Snow

Sculpture of the Taj Mahal guarded by a turbaned man at the Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan. Photo: Starfires

6

Breckenridge Snow Sculpture

Man and totem at the 2009 Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado.Photo: future15pic

7

Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival

Touching up a sculpture at the 2010 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in China.Photo: Irish Typepad

8

Native American snow sculpture

A Native American looking tired but happy at the 2007 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in China.Photo: harryalverson

9

Sapporo Snow Sculpture

Owls and birds of prey at the 2009 Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan. Photo: Clifford DMello

Intermission
4

24 exceptional ice sculptures

by Kristin Conard
3

Winter in the Woods: A Paean-in-Gray to the Sierra Nevada Backcountry, and to Lives Excellently Lived

by David Page
6

Notes on Storm Traveling

by David Page
10

Harbin Snow Festival

A castle just isn't a castle without some nudity at the 2008 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in China.Photo: StrudelMonkey

11

Snowy Fingers

Giant, disembodied snowy hand from 2007 in Mount Prospect, Illinois. Photo: Harvard Avenue

12

Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival

Snow train at the 2009 Harbin Ice and Snow festival.Photo: frankartculinary

13

Lego Ice Sculpture

Lego man in Quebec City, Canada from 2010.Photo: eytonz

14

Japanese Ice Sculpture

Elaborate details in the "National Treasure Inuyama Castle" at the 2008 Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan.Photo: Christopher Chan

15

Harbin 2010 snow sculpture

Tyger, tyger, burning bright. 2010 Harbin Snow and Ice Festival in China.Photo: eastisrelative

Intermission
4

The colors of Carnival around the world

by Kristin Conard
9

New Year’s Eve fireworks around the world

by Kristin Conard
3

Daytripping through Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

by Jason Wire
16

Breckenridge Snow Sculpture

2007's winning snow sculpture in Breckenridge, Colorado. Photo: Chris Adams

17

Scuba Snow Sculpture

Snorkeling in the snow in Anchorage, Alaska at the annual Fur Rondy Festival. It's a 75+ year tradition that celebrates the miners and trappers of Alaska.Photo: Troy B Thompson

18

Breckendridge Snow Sculpture

"Butterfly Lovers" from Chinese legend - two lovers who turned into butterflies after committing suicide. A dark story, but a beautiful sculpture at the 2005 Breckenridge Snow Sculpture Festival.Photo: Adventures in Librarianship

19

Japanese Snow Sculpture

A mother bear and her cub at the 2010 Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan.Photo: David McKelvey

20

Chinese Snow Sculpture

A truly international competition in 2010 at the Harbin Snow and Ice Festival China.Photo: Ivan Walsh

21

Roller Coaster Snow Sculpture

Hang on! Team USA's entry for the 2009 Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships.Photo: david_shankbone

22

Inuit Snow Sculpture

An Inuit family in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin at the 2010 US Nationals Snow Sculpting Competition.Photo: r.darkjoy