Tried “snow candle making” to light up the snowy night

Recently, many winter events in Hokkaido are decorated with “snow candles”. A “snow candle” is a type of candle stands made with snow. Ingredients never go out in the snow land! No complicated instructions. This is one of the easiest snow play. 

How to make snow candles

There are several ways to make snow candles, but this time I will introduce the one which uses buckets. We won’t use saws so it is safe to try with children as well.

What to prepare; a bucket, small shovel, large shovel (it is not necessary but better to have one), a candle, and fire to light the candle.
If the temperature is too cold and snow is not wet enough, you will also need some water.

1. Push clean snow into the bucket

Gather clean snow with the large shovel and put into the bucket. Press the snow in the bucket so that it gets hard. Do this over and over until the bucket is stuffed with hard snow.
If the snow is too powdery, mix some water to make wet snow.

2. Dig a hole

After you stuffed the bucket with snow, dig a hole with small shovel.
If the whole is too large, snow will collapse but if the whole is too small, it can’t stand the weight of snow and will collapse. Then how large is appropriate? Well… it depends on the snow texture of the day so you will have to give a try.

3. Turn the bucket upside down

After finishing to dig a hole, turn the bucket upside down. Turning the bucket slowly may make the snow collapse, so do it at once.
Then, pull up the bucket slowly, and there it is. A cylindrical snow!

4. Make a hole to put the candle in

To put the candle, make a small hole on the side. Dig until it reaches to the large hole that was made previously.
The size of this small hole is very difficult; if it is too big, it may collapse or the fire may go out by the wind. It is better if the hole is as small as possible. 

If you do not want to make a hole on the sides, collapse the top. The fire may easily go out when it is snowing, but it will be a bright snow candle.

5. Light the candle

Finally, let’s light the candle! Light the candle and put it into snow candle carefully. 

When the candles are in the snow candle, it’s done!


Making different shapes of snow candles

You can make different shapes of snow candles by just putting some more efforts.
The day we tried making snow candles are very windy and snowy so we had to give up making additional snow candles. So I will introduce some pictures of creative snow candles.

1. Cut the sides of snow candles and make patterns

Make more holes on the sides when you make the hole to put the candle. It’s easy to make different shapes if you use cookie cutters. If you want to make small holes, try using cutter knives. 


2. Stick shaped snow on the sides

Sticking different shapes of snow on the sides make the snow candles very pretty. Use water as a glue.


3. Put many snow candles together like an art

Even putting many simple snow candles makes an artistic shape. It may be a lot of work for a person..!? If you are with a group of people, try making this shape!

Making snow candles are very easy and fun snow play. Once you start doing, you will come up with another shape and never want to stop making!
By the way, candles won’t go back to nature so make sure to collect your candles after finish playing.

* Photos of snow candles are taken at the Canal Site and the Former Temiya Railway Line Site of “2016 Otaru Snow Light Path Festival”.
* Snow candle making this time was done by cooperation of “Winkel Village” in Asarigawa Onsen. However, this facility usually does not offer candle making plans.

Related Links

- Official website of “Otaru Snow Light Path Festival”
- Winkel Village