Inspiring Winter: Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in China

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After finalizing preparations, the 2015 Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival opened its doors to the public on Wednesday. The event is an annual winter festival which takes place in Harbin, China. It is now the largest ice and snow festival in the world.

© REUTERS / China DailyThe festival traditionally opens in mid-December and runs through to mid-February. The official opening ceremony is held on January 5 each year.

Above: People work on a snow sculpture at the International Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, December 22, 2015.
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The festival traditionally opens in mid-December and runs through to mid-February. The official opening ceremony is held on January 5 each year.

Above: People work on a snow sculpture at the International Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, December 22, 2015.
© AFP 2022 / WANG ZHAO The festival consists of four theme zones, including a sculpture expo and a lantern fair.

Above: This picture shows a general view of the opening ceremony of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival at the China Ice and Snow World in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2016.
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The festival consists of four theme zones, including a sculpture expo and a lantern fair.

Above: This picture shows a general view of the opening ceremony of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival at the China Ice and Snow World in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2016.
© REUTERS / Sheng Li The overall theme for the sculptures of this year’s event is "Pearl on the Crown of Ice and Show."

Above: Winter swimmers look on as a man wearing a Santa Claus hat and beard jumps into a pool carved into thick ice covering the Songhua River, to celebrate the upcoming Christmas, in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, December 24, 2015.
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The overall theme for the sculptures of this year’s event is "Pearl on the Crown of Ice and Show."

Above: Winter swimmers look on as a man wearing a Santa Claus hat and beard jumps into a pool carved into thick ice covering the Songhua River, to celebrate the upcoming Christmas, in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, December 24, 2015.
© REUTERS / Aly SongThe festival originated from Harbin’s traditional ice lantern show which began in 1963. It was interrupted for several years during the Cultural Revolution, but was resumed in the mid-1980s.

Above: Newlywed couples attend a group wedding ceremony which was held as part of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, January 6, 2016.
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The festival originated from Harbin’s traditional ice lantern show which began in 1963. It was interrupted for several years during the Cultural Revolution, but was resumed in the mid-1980s.

Above: Newlywed couples attend a group wedding ceremony which was held as part of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, January 6, 2016.
© REUTERS / Aly SongThe festival usually creates a whole world of ice and snow, full of amazing sculptures inspired by Chinese folklore and landmarks.

Above: People look around a large snow sculpture ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, January 5, 2016.
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The festival usually creates a whole world of ice and snow, full of amazing sculptures inspired by Chinese folklore and landmarks.

Above: People look around a large snow sculpture ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, January 5, 2016.
© REUTERS / Sheng LiThe main attraction - the Harbin Ice and Show World - covers over 750,000 square meters. Its structures required over 330,000 cubic meters of ice and snow to create.

Above: People visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights during a trial operation of the upcoming Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, December 22, 2015.
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The main attraction - the Harbin Ice and Show World - covers over 750,000 square meters. Its structures required over 330,000 cubic meters of ice and snow to create.

Above: People visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights during a trial operation of the upcoming Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, December 22, 2015.
© AFP 2022 / WANG ZHAO Visitors and tourists can enjoy sculptures of cathedral, mosques and palaces, with a 15-storey ice tower centerpiece.

Above: A group of visitors use a mobile phone to take a picture at the China Ice and Snow World during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2016.
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Visitors and tourists can enjoy sculptures of cathedral, mosques and palaces, with a 15-storey ice tower centerpiece.

Above: A group of visitors use a mobile phone to take a picture at the China Ice and Snow World during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2016.
© REUTERS / Aly SongThe festival is expected to attract over one millions visitors this year.

Above: People walk around ice and snow sculptures ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, January 5, 2016.
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The festival is expected to attract over one millions visitors this year.

Above: People walk around ice and snow sculptures ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, January 5, 2016.
© REUTERS / Aly SongThe stunning sculptures can be seen at their finest at night when they are lit up in bright colors.

Above: People visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights on the opening day of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, January 5, 2016.
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The stunning sculptures can be seen at their finest at night when they are lit up in bright colors.

Above: People visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights on the opening day of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, January 5, 2016.
© REUTERS / Aly SongHarbin is located in northeastern China and receives cold winter winds from Russia’s Siberia. In winter, average daytime temperatures range from minus 13 to minus 23 Celsius.

Above: People visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights on the opening day of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, January 5, 2016.
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Harbin is located in northeastern China and receives cold winter winds from Russia’s Siberia. In winter, average daytime temperatures range from minus 13 to minus 23 Celsius.

Above: People visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights on the opening day of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, January 5, 2016.
© REUTERS / Aly SongThis year’s festival is expected to be the biggest in the event’s history, filling the space of 100 sports fields and using a record amount of ice and snow, Xinhua reported.

Above: A worker polishes an ice sculpture ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, January 4, 2016.
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This year’s festival is expected to be the biggest in the event’s history, filling the space of 100 sports fields and using a record amount of ice and snow, Xinhua reported.

Above: A worker polishes an ice sculpture ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, January 4, 2016.
© AFP 2022 / WANG ZHAO Above: A man dressed as traditional cloth performs a dance next a frozen lake in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province on January 6, 2016.
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Above: A man dressed as traditional cloth performs a dance next a frozen lake in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province on January 6, 2016.
© REUTERS / Aly SongAbove: Fireworks light up the sky behind ice sculptures on the opening day of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, January 5, 2016.
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Above: Fireworks light up the sky behind ice sculptures on the opening day of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, January 5, 2016.
© REUTERS / Aly SongAbove: A horse stands in front of ice sculptures ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, January 4, 2016.
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Above: A horse stands in front of ice sculptures ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, January 4, 2016.
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