Irish filmmaker Ro Tierney captured a truly beautiful series of images as New Zealanders experienced their first snowfall since 1976 (in 2011). It is played alongside Debussy’s “Claire de Lune,”  and shows smiles, surprised faces, and even the sadness of a young boy who doesn’t appear to have taken a liking to the snow.

In an interview with RTE, Tierney explained that he posted the video just hours after shooting it outside in the streets. "I thought it would be something quite interesting to capture,” he explained, “because it's, you know, it's not often that you can capture something where people haven't ever seen snow before."

To make the video even more authentic, Tierney also claimed that no one he spoke to had ever seen snowfall before. “These people literally ... you’ll see some of them in t-shirts.”

Once the video was posted on his Facebook, it went viral. "Within a couple of hours, it kind of had a life of its own," Tierney said. By the end of the day, it had nearly 80,000 views, after people had posted it themselves and re-tweeted it.

But it wasn’t his intention for it go be such a phenomenon, Tierney stated. Although it was a happy surprise once the video was featured in American newspapers, Tierney claimed that he shot it mostly for his own amusement, if not to buff up his portfolio.

The film’s popularity comes at the perfect timing for the young man; he explained in the interview that it was a week prior to the video’s release that he quit his sales job of a year to pursue his true passion, film-making. “It’s a good start to the career move,” he reflected. “It’s encouraging that I may have made the right move.”

As for the young boy who seems less than content with this mysterious - and not likable - white fluff falling from the sky? “It’s the one little change I put into the film to make it a little more interesting.”

 * Originally published in 2011.