Norway’s toughest winter festival, Yukigassen, is held every year in Vardø and attracts 400-500 participants from Norway,
Sweden, Finland, Germany and Russia.
Since the beginning in 1997, when the competition had eight participating teams, Japanese snowball
it has grown significantly, and last year 40 teams fought to win the only snowball throwing championships in Scandinavia.
“I hope this festival can contribute to creating a positive spirit in the town and amongst everyone who lives here,”
says Anita Remme, former president of Yukigassen Norway.
“Before this festival, Vardø was a town without hope, without future.
My great wish is that this festival will be its big saviour and stop people from leaving.”
Yukigassen originated in the 80s in Sobetsu, a town in northern Japan not far from the city of Sapporo.
The word means ‘snowball fight’, and the sport was brought to Vardø in 1997.
Yukigassen is carried out between two teams aiming
at conquering the other team by hitting them with snowballs or stealing their flag.
Each team has 90 snowballs to use during the game, and seven judges are involved in each match.
In addition to the snow ball fights, Japanese snowball
events such as The Golden Glove and the World Championships in Yukidance are also arranged during the festival.
Yukigassen 2014 will be held 26-30 March, and participants must sign up before 20 March.
All attendees must be 16 years or older.
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