Where does the snowman come from?

During the winter holiday season, we see it on everything: from Christmas cards to holiday jumpers, the snowman is everywhere. Today a symbol of winter, we ask ourselves one question: who had the idea of the first snowman?

Humorist and writer Bob Eckstein, fascinated by these questions, wrote a book that is now famous: The History of the Snowman. The author travels back in time to explore the enigmatic past of this icon.

While writing his book, Eckstein managed to find the oldest illustration of a snowman, and you will never guess what the beginning of the snowman was. The drawing, found in the Bible, was examined and experts concluded that the first snowman was actually… an anti-Semitic image.

In the Middle Ages, snowmen were often created as political statements, sinister beings, or ephemeral art illustrating taboo subjects. In this way, people used snowmen to comment political actions and depict sexual acts.

Author: Thomas Cook - CC BY-SA 2.0.

 

6 fun facts about snowmen:

  • The World’s largest snowman ever made was built in Bethel, Maine, in the US, and the name “Olympia Snowe” was given to him. Olympia was 37 metres tall!
  • While Europe and North America build their snowmen with 3 snowballs, Asia tends to prefer 2 spheres.
  • Every 18th of January we celebrate the World day of the Snowman. Yes, the snowman even has its own day!
  • There are many famous snowmen: Frosty the snowman, Olaf in the famous Disney movie Frozen, Jack Frost, Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman.
  • It is said that the most beautiful snowman ever created was built in Florence by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, known today simply as Michelangelo. Unfortunately, no one recorded what it looked like.
  • The American comic Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson contains many instances of Calvin building snowmen, many of which are deformed or otherwise abnormal, often used to poke fun at the art world.

Author: GutMaze - CC BY-SA 3.0.