The 31st International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in Harbin, the capital of China’s Heilongjiang province, is an annual event at which artists compete to build the most incredible structure out of crystalline, frozen H2O.

The festival officially starts on January 5 th – February 5th each year –  The festival is featured by grand opening ceremony, fireworks display and a series of theatrical performances around the city of Harbin.

During the festival, there are ice lantern park touring activities held in many parks in the city. Winter activities during the festival include: Yabuli alpine skiing, winter-swimming in the Songhua River, and the ice-lantern exhibition in Zhaolin Garden, The Ice and Snow World, and Sun Island Scenic Area, just to name a few…

The public can also discover and explore remarkable ice towers and palaces. One tower build is of at least 50 metres high and measures around 20 storeys, which is one of the main attractions at the festival. Some of these Ice Towers are using advanced computer controlled LED and regular lighting to put on stunning displays of changing color and design.

Thousands of tourists flock to the city of Harbin, located in Northeast China – receiving the cold winter wind from Siberia. This festival forms a strong part of the Northeast China culture.

A few facts:

– The Theme this year is “50-year Ice Snow, Charming Harbin”
– Enormous over 26-metre tower to be the centerpiece of the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, which will fully opened in 2014
– 10,000 workers have been working non-stop to complete the event’s remarkable ice and snow structures
– Over 180,000 sq metres of ice, some chipped off from the Songhua River and dragged to the festival site, used overall

Watch a video featuring this beautiful festival:

Visit the official website:

A few pictures of this beautiful Ice and Snow Festival, by day and by night: 

Harbin_Ice_and_Snow_Worldarticle-2529945-1A4D191200000578-934_964x627 article-2527003-1A38159600000578-779_964x1402 article-2527003-1A38158600000578-751_964x642 article-2527003-1A38150D00000578-898_964x642 article-2527003-1A38158E00000578-706_964x642 article-2527003-1A38159F00000578-62_964x642 article-2529945-1A4B1FEE00000578-797_964x633 article-2529945-1A4D1A1B00000578-234_964x554 article-2529945-1A4B1F9900000578-156_964x675 Ice and Snow World (17)

Simply stunning. 

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Source: Harbinice, China HighlightsCCTV News
Image credits:
Harbinice, Reuters