Snowman Fun Facts
Bob Eckstein, in his book“The History of the Snowman,” gathered an amazing collection of stories and facts about snowmen around the world. Here are few:
The record for the world's largest snowman was set in 2008 in Bethel, Maine. The snow-woman stood 122 feet 1 inch (37.21 m) in height, and was named in honour of Olympia Snowe, a U.S. Senator representing the state of Maine. (Note: Ours was 5 feet 6 inches.)
The earliest documentation of a snowman was a marginal illustration from a work titled Book of Hours, found in Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague in 1380AD.
In 1494AD, the ruler of Florence, Italy commissioned 19-year-old Michelangelo to sculpt a snowman in his mansion’s courtyard.
In 1511AD, Brussels - after six weeks of subzero weather and lots of snow - was full of snowmen on every street corner. Many were not your typical fun snowmen, some were angry swipes at the church and government and some were downright pornographic.
The Schenectady Massacre of 1690AD was the result of soldiers at Fort Schenectady, in upstate New York, who decided to leave a pair of snowmen at their post to protect the town so they could escape the blizzard. Unknown to them, a contingent of 210 French Canadian soldiers and Native Americans were approaching. Having traveled over three weeks in knee-deep, slushy snow, they were unfazed by the snowmen. They invaded the fort and killing 60 villagers.
Every year since 1818AD, the people of Zurich, Switzerland, celebrate the beginning of spring by blowing up a snowman. On the third Monday of April, the holiday Sechseläuten is kicked off when a cotton snowman called Böögg is stuffed with dynamite and paraded through town by bakers, blacksmiths, and other tradesmen who throw bread and sausages to the crowds. The parade ends with Böögg being placed on a 40-foot pile of scrap wood. After the bells of the Church of St. Peter have chimed six times, representing the passing of winter, the pile is lit. When the snowman explodes, winter is considered officially over—the shorter the combustion, the longer summer is said to be.
Playing with snow can keep you trim. Laboring for an hour to build a snowman burns more calories than dancing for an hour and is almost equivalent to an hour of bike riding.
Chasing a world record, residents of Sapporo, Japan made 12,379 snowmen in 2003—so many they actually outnumbered the humans. At night, candles placed in the bellies of the frosty occupants dazzled tourists.
According to the Industrial Engineer Journal, a “perfect” snowman is best attempted when the temperature is near freezing to provide for ideal moisture content. We can attest to that as that was exactly the temperature when we made our snowman; when we rolled the snow, it stuck together perfectly. Proportion is crucial as well; a three-story snowman should consist of spheres ascending from 3 feet in diameter on the bottom to 1 foot on top. It is a science!YouTube has 677,000 videos on how to build a snowman. (this one is my fun fact).