As sad as we are to say it, the 66th Annual Sapporo Snow Festival has now come to a close. In case you missed our coverage this year, this is when people from around the world come the snowy city of Sapporo, Hokkaido to create massive and gorgeous works of art out of ice and snow.

However, a lesser-known festival has been spreading around Twitter recently. It’s the unofficial Sapporo Demolition Festival, where excavators come in and mercilessly rip apart these massive and gorgeous works of art. While it doesn’t have the same international drawing power of the Snow Festival, many people have been on hand at the Demolition Festivals past and present to take plenty of video and images of the fun.

Demolition Fest 2015 is currently underway, so all we have at the moment are a few tweets covering the event.

▼ “From this morning the demolition of the Snow Festival sculptures begins. When I came to the Sazae-san area the children were gone and they were scooping out Namihei’s nose. I wonder if they left the single hair on top of his head alone to preserve his dignity. (^_^;)”

▼ “Watching the face crumble – it’s surreal seeing Sazae-san and Masao-san laughing like that.”

▼ “Sapporo Snow Sculpture Demolition Festival”

▼ “Snow Festival over.”

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It’s a little sad to see your favorite cartoon characters getting torn apart by heavy machinery. However, it’s a necessary (and kind of fun) evil, since these massive structures can become safety hazards as they melt away.

Sometimes though, it does seem like overkill.

▼ “I saw them busting up a sculpture for the first time…shocking!”

Now, before you go thinking this is all just mindless destruction, a fair bit of care actually goes into these demolitions. As we can see in videos from past years’ Demolition Festivals, before a sculpture is torn down a ceremony is held by the crew.

In the following video we can get a good look at it before they begin ripping apart another Sazae-san exhibit.

You can see the men passing around a bottle of sake and taking turns pouring it around the sculpture before going to work. This is a kind of holy liquor called miki and is used to bless something that is about to be destroyed.

There are two purposes for this. Mainly it is to wish good luck and a safe demolition for the crew, but also it is generally considered bad karma to destroy something in the image of a person because even that is said to have a soul. So, the pouring of miki may also serve as an offering to the spirit of the statues.

Here are a few other videos of past Sapporo Demolition Festivals.

▼ This won’t be in One Piece for long…

▼ Gachapon nooooooo!

▼ Here’s a twofer! You can also see a bit of the miki pouring in this one.

▼ It’s the circle of life.

▼ I’m convinced that this one wasn’t even necessary and he just did that for fun.

Obviously the big draw at this year’s Demolition Festival would be the destruction of the Death Star and Lord Vader, after he received his sacred sake of course. No videos are out yet, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled. It’s probably too late to attend this year, but next February why not try to spend a vacation at the Sapporo Demolition Festival? Travel and accommodation will be a lot cheaper and you still get to see all the art…for a moment at least.

Source: Naver Matome
Videos: YouTube – HKASAMA, z68 i7, tako okada, HKASAMA, awano farm, HKASAMA, tako okada