The first time I saw it was on a Christmas card that was sent to my home in Edinburgh. I think from that first moment I found him adorable.
This happened many years ago and I still didn’t know who that snowman was that would still appear in front of my Christmas after Christmas.
Today I’m opening the door of this Advent Traveller Calendar for you to meet one of the most beloved characters of UK Christmas: The Snowman.
The snowman who flies
The Snowman is the main character in a children’s book that is over 40 years old. Thanks to its author, cartoonist Raymond Briggs, you follow the story without having to read a single word.
The book (which was later taken to the cinema) tells how a child builds a snowman. At midnight the doll magically comes to life and begins to explore the world.
The doll tries to understand how the devices and toys that its creator has work. The boy wakes up and together they go out on a motorcycle without waking up the parents of the little one but lifting a fox, an owl, a horse and a few rabbits.
The most beautiful part is, perhaps, when together they fly through the city until they reach the Arctic, their destination.
There they participate in a snowman party and meet Santa Claus who gives the child a scarf.
The next day the child wakes up and sees how the sun melted his friend and cries without consolation. But when he puts his hand in his pocket, he finds the scarf, the only proof of his experience.
The origin of the story
The creator of The Snowman is originally from Bristol and although he does not say so literally in the book, when they fly over they show some areas that let you guess the place.
The story became so famous that it was taken to the big screen in animation format and after the first book many more have followed.
You can now see on their official website a stopwatch that tells you how long before The Snowman comes to life.
Bristol and The Snowman
As the origin of this character is in Bristol, in this door of the Advent Travel Calendar I will take you to this English city to do three things that can bring you closer to The Snowman.
Look for the commemorative coin
For the 40 years since the book was published, in 2018 a 50-pence coin was put into circulation that included the image of the Christmas character. But since she was so successful, she’s been put back on the street.
If you visit Bristol a good activity is to go to the shops and buy something to give you coins and see if you touch any.
It is not part of the activity but you can buy it online for £4.50 here.
Visit the Clifton Bridge
It has no direct relationship with The Snowman, but being in such a high area of Bristol makes us dream a little how the characters felt flying on their way to the Arctic.
You can see a little more in this post we’ve written about whether Bristol is worth visiting.
A walk through the museum
You can see works that have inspired cartoonist Raymond Briggs to develop his work by visiting the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.
There you will find everything from Egyptian relics to the history of the city and on the second floor you will meet artists from all over the world and from the city of Bristol.