In the last week of January each year, snow artists descend on Kiruna, Sweden, for the Kiruna Snow Festival, which began in 1986 to celebrate the launch of the Viking satellite from the nearby space center at Esrange. Since then, winter has been reason enough for the event, whose center piece is the snow sculpture contest where competing teams from around the low-temperature-tolerant world chip, chisel, and saw away at 10×10 solid blocks of cold, creating fantastical frozen figures. Kiruna is about 90 miles north of the Arctic Circle and temperatures rarely rise above 15 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, so be sure to bundle up. Check out these chilly creations below.

The teams begin their work on the 10×10 raw material during the brief daylight hours available this far north. Image by Fredo

This Swedish team didn’t have to travel too far to take part in the Kiruna snow sculpting contest, but teams do come from around the world to carve up these frozen blocks. Image by Fredo

Although many of the sculptures may appear delicate, the tools used to make them are not. Saws, hammers, and chisels are as necessary for this work as a warm set of gloves. Image by Fredo

The lights come on and the work continues after the abbreviated Arctic day ends. Check out the block of snow cheese on the right. Image by Fredo

Teams have just four days of the six-day festival to hew their icy masterpieces out of their snow blocks. Image by Fredo

This futuristic work is reminiscent of the satellite launch that inspired the first Kiruna Snow Festival in 1986. Image by Fredo

Competition guidelines encourage unique expression over replication, so it’s not likely you’ll see a snow Eiffel Tower here. Image by Fredo

The beauty on the ground matches the beauty in the sky as the Northern Lights dazzle above the festival each year. Image by Fredo