Annually, people in their vast numbers and from all around China and the world flock to northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, to the city of Harbin which transforms into the now quite famous ‘Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival‘.
Featuring massive ice and snow sculptures, at first glance it appears as if you have reached a real-life chronicle in the land of Narnia.
By night, the sculptures are colorfully illuminated and visitors can climb and play on some of the structures or simply watch in amazement at the visual display of man-made ice and bright lights.
The festival officially opened this week, and will run all the way through to the end of February.
This year’s festival is themed under the title of ‘Fascinating Ice-Snow Harbin, Charming Chinese Dream’ and organised by China National Tourism Administration and local governments.
22-YEAR-OLD TOURIST, Li- Ke from China who visited this week said:
“After President Xi took office, he has promoted austerity. Those things like fireworks are not as pragmatic as ice sculptures. We can spend the mony saved from the fireworks on better building of such incredible ice sculptures like this. Fireworks are short-lived beauty that would be gone very quickly and they are unable to stay here forever to let us take time to appreciate them.”
According to the organizers, the winter festival now draws several million tourists each year, from China and from abroad. They even held a traditional mass wedding ceremony at the festival this week with 11 couples tying the knot together surrounded by the ice sculptures.
All hailing from as far afield as France, the Seychelles and Egypt, they all stood in the icy morning chill, in their wedding dresses and suits under coats for the ceremony.
For more info about the festival visit icefestivalharbin.com
Special thanks to Tango from the Festival team.