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Snowman Burning Day – March 20, 2023

Snowman Burning Day is an American holiday celebrated on March 20 every year. It is usually observed on the first day of a new Spring season. The Snowman Burning Day is meant to commemorate the end of the cold and chilly winter and welcome the warmth of the Spring. The Spring season comes with warmth, brighter and more sunny days, blossoming flowers, and a breath of fresh air. The act of burning the Snowman is symbolic of the transition from a cold season with extreme temperatures, to a much fairer and warmer season.

History of Snowman Burning Day

Snowman Burning Day is a tradition that dates back to March of 1971 when it was celebrated for the first time as the National Snowman Burning Day at Lake Superior State University (L.S.S.U.) by one of the school’s clubs known as the Unicorn Hunters. Some members of the Unicorn Hunters were inspired by the German holiday, “Rose Sunday Festival,” during which the mayor of the town parades through town with a Snowman made out of straw.

It was reported that the well-behaved children in this German town were rewarded by the mayor with a burning straw-Snowman. It was this act, coupled with the experience of particularly old and harsh winter, that inspired the Unicorn Hunters to begin the tradition of burning snowmen as it was believed that the smoke would prevent blizzards and help usher in Spring-like weather. This event would go on to be a long-lasting tradition of Lake Superior State University for over decades as a way of welcoming the arrival of Spring.

The event was reportedly canceled briefly in 1992, due to concern about environmental pollution. It was however restored as part of Michigan tradition after the public had clamored for it. Today, the snowmen used for Snowman Burning Day are made out of wood, recyclable paper, as well as some straw, among others. The snowman typically stands at a height of 12 feet.

Snowman Burning Day timeline

1912
German Rose Festival is Established

The Rose Festival in Germany is the inspiration behind Snowman Burning Day, and the Rose Festival first occurs in 1912.

1946
Lake Superior State University is established

Lake Superior State University, the Michigan public university in which Snowman Burning Day started, is established.

1971
Unicorn Hunters Club is Established

W.T. Babe establishes the Unicorn Hunters club that created the Snowman Burning Day.

1971
Snowman Burning Day is Created

Snowman Burning Day is created.

Snowman Burning Day FAQs

What is Snowman Burning Day?

The Snowman Burning Day, observed on March 20 each year, is an American holiday observed to commemorate the transition between Winter and Spring. It is a holiday marking the change of seasons.

Where did Snowman Burning Day originate?

The inspiration for Snowman Burning Day comes from the German Rose Sunday which involved burning a snowman made out of straw. The Snowman Burning Day has since been adopted as an event to mark the start of the Spring season.

Are real snowmen used for Snowman Burning Day?

No. The Snowmen used for Snowman Burning Day are made of materials such as straw, recyclable paper, and other innovative materials, but never of actual snow, as that would be impossible to pull off.

Snowman Burning Day Activities

  1. Attend a Snowman Burning event

    If you’re in Michigan, it would be a wonderful idea to visit L.S.S.U. and attend the original Snowman Burning Day festival. It should be fun!

  2. Build (and burn) your Snowman

    This works for you if you can’t attend a Snowman Burning Day event as you can simply build your Snowman with straw and other recyclable material and watch it burn. It is important to prioritize safety while doing this though.

  3. Use the #SnowmanBurningDay Hashtag on social media

    Post pictures and fun facts about the holiday and share them on your social media pages using the #SnowmanBurningDay hashtag. Spread the fun!

5 Interesting Facts About Snowmen

  1. Snowmen are as old as time

    Snowmen have been around for a long time, and some of the earliest records of snowmen date back many centuries.

  2. Most Snowmen are built by kids

    Snowmen can be built by anybody, but it is most common to find those built by children as part of a family project.

  3. Building Snowmen is good exercise

    It has been said that putting in the physical work to build a snowman can help burn over 200 calories

  4. The world’s largest snowman

    The world’s largest snowman, nicknamed “Riesi,” meaning ‘giant,’ is found in Austria.

  5. Switzerland’s Spring starts “Blowing up the Boogg”

    Switzerland’s variation of the Snowman Burning Day, a tradition that started in Zurich in 1818 is known as “Sechselauten” and involves blowing up the “Boogg” which is the city’s “official” Snowman.

Why We Love Snowman Burning Day

  1. It is symbolic of the end of Winter

    The burning of the snowman symbolizes the end of the Winter season and the beginning of the spring season. We love spring!

  2. It is a good way to socialize

    Snowman Burning Day is a good way for people to socialize and have loads of fun. It is an opportunity for extroverts to meet one another and share in the fun of the occasion.

  3. It is aesthetically pleasing

    Snowman Burning day usually comprises a set of aesthetically pleasant activities leading up to the burning itself. It usually involves colorful displays among others.

Snowman Burning Day dates

YearDateDay
2023March 20Monday
2024March 20Wednesday
2025March 20Thursday
2026March 20Friday
2027March 20Saturday

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