World Snow Day is observed on the third Sunday in January each year, and was created by the International Ski Federation (FIS). The purpose behind it is to increase children’s participation in snow-related sports like skiing and snowboarding, while bringing together families for a fun-filled frolic in the snow. Countries all over the world can make use of their snowy regions to host winter sports and activities so that more people can get the chance to experience snow. Imagine one great big global snowy fiesta, celebrated around the world over the same weekend — that’s the vision with which World Snow Day was established.
History of World Snow Day
The first official celebration of World Snow Day kicked off in January 2012, as phase two of the International Ski Federation’s campaign ‘Bring Children to the Snow’ (which began in 2007). The idea behind it was to have the world’s biggest snow day, bringing together people all over the world as they hit the slopes to ‘enjoy, experience and explore’ the wonders snow and snow-related activities have to offer. The purpose of the campaign is twofold — one is to increase the numbers of participants in snow sports like skiing and snowboarding, and the other is to ensure that children and their families create lasting memories of the wonders of snow. The endeavor has met with so much success since it began that a variety of industries now work together to plan for and provide snow activities for kids (and their families).
First founded in 1910, when 22 delegates from 10 different nations came together to form the International Skiing Commission in Christiania, Norway, the group formally changed its name to FIS in 1924. Today, more than 180 national skiing organizations are members of the group. Based in Switzerland, FIS is responsible for a range of snow-related activities from different styles of skiing to snowboarding. According to the late FIS President Gian Franco Kasper, “The children are our future. Each and every season we see children taking to snow sports for the first time. Whether they will grow up to be top skiers is not what matters – what we want is to watch them grow with skiing and snowboarding as part of their lives.” This is the vision with which the campaign was launched, and it not only gives children a chance to experience the fun of snow activities, it also educates them on snow safety, the health benefits of physical activity, and the environment. All this, while getting a chance to play in the snow, has us sold.
World Snow Day timeline
Skis dating back millennia have been found in Scandinavia, as have rock carvings depicting skiing.
Two-year-old Prince Haakon Haakonsson, the heir to the throne of Norway, is escorted to safety by the Birkebeiners; the journey is immortalized with a skiing race.
Cross-country skiing and jumping events are developed and the first women’s race also occurs.
On February 18, the first International Skiing Commission is formed in Norway.
FIS holds the first celebration of World Snow Day on January 15, with organizations all over the world taking part.
World Snow Day FAQs
Why are snow days good?
A good snow gives people the feeling that time has slowed down, and is an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of snow in its natural glory. Studies even show that a snow day is healthier than a planned day off because it is perceived as a gift. There have been studies showing that when schools or places of work decide to run a normal day during a snow event, little is gained, so it makes more sense to close shop for those days.
Is snow good for mental health?
Snow is often positively anticipated because it gives us a break from our daily routine and allows us to play together and enjoy the moment, because it is only temporary, and therefore it is often associated with a very positive mood and state of mind.
How does snow help the Earth?
Seasonal snow is an important part of Earth’s climate system. Snow cover is more reflective than rock, which helps regulate the temperature of the Earth’s surface, and once that snow melts, the water helps fill rivers and reservoirs in many regions of the world, including the western U.S.
How to Celebrate World Snow Day
Head for the slopes
There is no time like the present to seize the day and go on that family ski trip you have been planning for ages. Find the nearest snowy destination and pack those bags, and enjoy a picture-perfect winter getaway with loved ones.
Make your own snow day
Stuck in a location where snow is a distant dream? Don’t let that stop you from doing what you can, as some D.I.Y. with a sprinkle of imagination can help you and your family create your own World Snow Day memories (until the real thing becomes a possibility). Some ideas to get you started include: snow-themed treats like snow cones or shaved ice desserts, backyard skiing, or watching the Winter Olympics or snow sports movies together.
Partner with a cause
Many snow sports are affiliated with certain causes, for example, skiing for cancer. Partner up with either your local community to hold an event to fundraise for a cause, or join a larger network of organizations doing so already. Either way, it’s a great chance to contribute to something meaningful.
5 Facts About Snow That May Break The Ice
Snow is not white
Looks like the fairytale princess was erroneously named Snow White since snow is, in fact, translucent and appears white to our eyes thanks to refraction.
Snowflakes are not all unique
We hate to burst your bubble, but in 1988, scientist Nancy Knight discovered two nearly identical snowflakes, showing that they may not all be completely unique.
Fear of snow is a thing
The proper term for this fear of snow is known as chionophobia.
Snowflakes are six-sided
Every snowflake has six sides to it because it’s the only way that the hydrogen and oxygen molecules can fit together.
Yodelling does not cause avalanches
Yodellers can breathe a sigh of relief, for sound is not what causes avalanches to occur; it usually depends more on sudden snowfall or increased wind speed.
Why We Love World Snow Day
Like with most physical outdoor activities, the health benefits are obvious and widely known. However, what sets snow sports and activities apart is the wonder and beauty of the snow itself, which the environment provides. There is nothing quite like it, and no amount of virtual reality can detract from the real deal and invigorating experience of fresh mountain air whooshing past you.
Education and the environment
World Snow Day is also an opportunity for industry stakeholders like schools to teach children valuable lessons on snow safety and the environment. The rules set by the FIS educate children on safety on and off the snow, as well as highlight the need to conserve the environment so that snow can be enjoyed by generations to come.
Fun for the whole family
Not only does a holiday like this bring the whole family together, but it also serves to unite families all over the world. The planning and involvement of a multiplicity of stakeholders ensure that there is something for everyone to participate in, so that only the best memories are made.
World Snow Day dates