Ice sculpture festival “ICE Fantasy” takes place every winter in the centre of Saint Petersburg — Peter and Paul Fortress. 170 tons of ice right in the heart of Saint Petersburg — but for a good reason! 🙂 It’s a temporary exhibition which brings us to a fairy-tale world of Chinese dragons, Egyptian Pyramids and Polar bears.
By the way, here’s the list of must-see places in Saint Petersburg good to visit at any time of year.
It took almost a month for more than 30 leading ice-sculpting artists from Russia and other parts of the world to create this ice kingdom.
Ice Sculptures Festival — Frozen Kingdom
Ice sculptures are located in a special tent. The tent protects the sculptures from snow, wind and other nasty weather conditions. Winter weather in Saint Petersburg is unpredictable. Snowfalls, rains, sun, storms — everything is possible. During the whole time of the festival, the temperature in the tent is kept below-zero. In fact, the tent is a kind of huge refrigerator!
Besides, it’s rather dark inside. And ice compositions are illuminated day and night with all the colours of the rainbow. Transparent ice sculptures glow in this darkness. Add to this frost sparkling on the ceiling… The atmosphere is truly magical!
Each time organizers choose a new theme for the festival. In 2019 it’s “A Trip Around the World”, obviously dedicated to travelling around different countries and continents. We travel from the underwater world of Australia to the hot and dangerous jungles of South America, from the ever-cold Antarctic to the Egyptian pyramids in Africa, from North America to Europe and Asia…
We meet Venetian gondoliers, tigers, dragons, magical Indian totems, ancient statues of the pharaohs, the Statue of Liberty, penguins from the South Pole and a polar bear from the North Pole.
All the sculptures are not miniatures. These are more than a man-size figurine made of purest transparent ice. Very elaborated works! I can’t even tell which of sculptures is more amazing. For example, I adore the ice diver surrounded by ice seaweed, turtles and octopus… Great idea and realization… Same with the magnificent Chinese dragon — we can distinctly see every small detail!
Of course, the festival sculptors honour Saint Petersburg sights. As soon as you enter the exhibition, you see the famous city’s drawbridge — the Palace Bridge. And a great sailing ship with scarlet sails!
What Are The Scarlet Sails In Saint Petersburg?
The ship with the scarlet sails is a symbol of summer Saint Petersburg. The Scarlet Sails is a celebration of the end of the school year. During the celebration, a boat with scarlet sails along the English Embankment and the Admiralty Embankment towards the Winter Palace. The fest is incredibly popular because of the unique show: spectacular fireworks, numerous music concerts and a massive water show.
The Scarlet Sails is celebrated while the period of the white nights. It usually takes place during the shortest night of the year — summer solstice (21-22 June).
If you are in Saint Petersburg during the Scarlet Sails celebration, you’re lucky! Never ever miss the chance to watch the show. It’s a busy night, but 100% worth seeing!
Now let’s come back to our ice festival. The ship with the scarlet sails is held under the wide open ice arches of the Palace Bridge. By the way, it’s a copy of the legendary sailboat. The highest and the most romantic sculpture of the festival, in fact. This wonderful ship symbolizes a beautiful dream which will be surely fulfilled in 2019!
The ice sculpture festival is interesting both for adults and children, but for kids, there is also additional entertainment. They have to find and count all the hidden pigs, symbols of the 2019 year. If the answer is correct, the most attentive kids receive a reward. Adults can make a wish and freeze a coin to the pigs — for good luck.
P. S. If you visit Saint Petersburg in summer, instead of ice you can see the sand sculptures festival! Head to the beach of the Peter and Paul Fortress — and you’ll see amazing masterpieces of architecture, sculpture and painting made of sand.