Short history of Ice carving events in Finland

The Year 2006 the first international ice carving competition was held in Olavinlinna castle and the name JÄÄLINNA (Ice Castle) was born

Jäälinna ry (the association) was founded in 2009. Five international teams participated in the competition.

The next year (2010) Jäälinna arranged a competition tour in various parts of Finland.

With six teams and five events. 2011 Jäälinna returned to Olavinlinna due to a long term agreement with The Finnish Heritage Agency

2012 was represented by seven international teams from China, Mongolia, Russia, Singapore, Spain (Catalonia) USA/Switzerland and of course Finland. The venues was Olavinlinna and Mänttä

2013 the events were in Laukaa, Heinola and Olavinlinna. The number of participants increased by one team. International teams from China, Mongolia, Russia, USA/Switzerland, Singapore, Japan, Hungary, Sweden and Finland.
The winning team from Mongolia won in Laukaa and Heinola and Japan in Olavinlinna.

2014 Events on five places and the number of teams increased again by one.
It was the II International Ice Festival in Heinola and the IX Jäälinna Festival in Olavinlinna. This time the winning team was from Russia, both Heinola and Olavinlinna.

2015 the X Jäälinna Ice Festival was implemented on six places with 18 carvers from 10 different countries. Seven teams in Heinola and Mikkeli. Both competitions was carried out under excellent conditions, although immediately after the competition a heatwawe melted the sculptures and childrens slides.
The team from Jakutia visited different places and excuted over 50 different ice sculptures during three weeks, showing there skills in ice carving.
Most of them were made in Lapland, Ivalo, Saariselkä and Kiilopää scapes.

2016 An Jäälinna tour was organized, during which more than 30 ice sculptures were built from ice and snow in a total of 7 locations In addition, ice slides was made for the active use of children.

2017 The 100 year celebration of the Republic of Finland

12 teams where invated to honour the celebration year. The theme of the competition was actually Finland 100 years.
The teams where from USA, Great Britain, Mongolia, China, Hungary, Holland, Slovenia, France, Russia/Ukraine, Yakutia, Poland and Finland

The winner was Mongolia, second Yakutia and third Slovenia.
The first Cave Ice Carving World Championship (CICWC) in 2017 was a succes among competitors, organizers and audience. Positive and grateful messages was spread all over the globe by famous ice art carvers about the unique venue and organisation.

15 300 spectators visited the ice exhebition that lasted from february to june! The sculptures where in perfect shape all the time.

For these reasons the decision to continue and arrange the second competition and exhebition was easy.

The competition venue is a cave 40 meters under the ground. It has enchanted the carvers for many reasons, no wind, constant temperature -5 degrees Celcius, accomodation and service just above in the Hotel Vesileppis plus that the cave will be illuminated with atmospheric lights and music. Yuo can’t find a similar cave like this anywhere in the world.

In addition to this an international competition was held in Mikkeli and a large tour of 14 places in Finland was a succes. The biggest succes recieved in Lahti where over 80 000 spectators saw the ice sculptures. This was made in connection with the Nordic Ski World championship

2018 International ice sculpting continued in Leppävirta Ice Cave where the II Cave Ice Carving World Championship took place

In november 2017 an invitation was send to carvers around the world and we got 26 good applications (drawings, sketches). Unfortunately we could only take 12 teams (two persons) The selection was not easy but we managed. Of some reason we got many applications from the Far-East and we thougt that they could bring an exotic touch to the exhebition.

The chosen teams represent the top carvers in their country. They came from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, China and Mongolia. Also other famous ice carving countries were represented, USA/Switzerland, Russia, Poland, Italy, Sweden and Finland.

The theme of this competition was -Stone age in the Ice Cave. The problem was a bad warm winter, we couldn’t find good natural ice. We lifted ice from Heinola and Leppävirta where the thickness of steel ice was only 15-20 cm. So we had to turn to Lapland from where we got a truckload of proper ice.
The winner was again Mongolia, second Japan and third USA/Switzerland