Vesileppis in Leppävirta has a magical cave deep underground. The world’s only ice sculpture cave is a real winter wonderland and this winter the magical journey to the Moominvalley in Midwinter is exhibited with the 16 beautiful Moomin ice sculptures! Besides the magic of the Tove Jansson’s story, also the brilliant lights and stunning soundscapes will bring the 1,5– 6-meter tall Moomin ice sculptures to life.
Descend 30 meters into an underground cave
You can descend to the depths of Earth right from the lobby of Hotel Vesileppis. The best ice sculptors of the world will create an icy Moominous wonderland where the play of light lets your imagination run wild. There’s not only the Moomin ice sculpture exhibition but also lots of other wintry fun. This winter the sculptures are carved by the team Jäälinnan mestariveistäjät, including Wold Champion Lkhavgadori ”George” Dorjsuren and Finnish Champion Anssi Kuosa.
The ice has been harvested from the river in Finnish Lapland
The story of the carving ice begins in a little pond in Finnish Lapland. From there, a creek runs and turns into Lainio river, zigzagging 35 kilometers through the National Park, all the way from the hillsides of Pallas-Yllästunturi fells to Lainio SnowVillage in Kittilä, where the clearest carving ice in the world is harvested.
Lainio river’s unique ice is optimal raw material for ice sculpting. It is formed in flowing water where the currents slow down the icing and keep the air bubbles in the undersurface of the ice very small. This makes the ice almost bubbleless, clear and very hard.
The story of the carving ice has begun almost a year ago. The ice for the Moomin sculptures has been harvested from the river at the turn of February-March, at the time when the ice is at its thickest and best. The ice has been stored over the summer before it is used for the next winter’s Moomin exhibition. The storing period improves the quality of the ice, because due to condensation the ice hardens even more and gets a bluish tint.
See the video below filmed in the ice sculpture exhibition last winter!
As seen on the video, natural ice has its own “soul”, its personal shade and tendencies to scatter light. Light passes artificial ice like glass, but a sculpture made of natural ice begins to shine once the light hits it. This is caused by small air bubbles in natural ice, that make the rays of light break inside the sculpture.
Photos: ©Moomin Characters™
Text source: Ice Cave