The 28th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will start on December 1, 2011 and last to February 29, 2012. The ceremony will be officially launched on January 5, 2012. As it before the festival is held with many winter activities, such as alpine skiing, sledding, winter-swimming, ice sculpture competition, ice & snow carnival, ice lantern exhibition and firework display etc.
The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival has been held since 1963, interrupted for a number of years during the Cultural Revolution until it was resumed in 1985. Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang province, in northeastern China. It is nicknamed "Ice City" and aptly so for winter January temperatures that average minus 18 degrees Celsius, under the influence of the cold winter wind from Siberia.
In these stunning photographs the festival's amazing sculptures are seen illuminated from the inside after night has fallen - with visitors meandering in between the impressive works.
Those who attend the event can navigate the ice cities on foot or via the festival's horse and carriage rides. As well as walking around and marvelling in awe at the colourful creations, they can also zip down snowy slides or climb up the staircases of ice castles and investigate what's inside.
The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is one of the world's top ice festivals.
The best collections of ice artworks are exhibited in the following five main places:
- Harbin Ice and Snow World - came into being in 1999 and is one of the world's largest ice architecture parks. The inspiration for the ice and snow sculptures there usually is derived from traditional Chinese fairy tales or world famous architectures such as the Great Wall, the Egyptian Pyramids, etc.
- Ice Lantern Garden Party - ice lantern in broad sense refers to a series of plastic arts using ice and snow as raw material combining ice artworks with colored lights and splendid music. The specific patterns of ice lantern include ice and snow sculptures, ice flowers, ice architectures and so on.
Sun Island Scenic Area - is the site of the Snow Sculpture Exposition displaying a wonderful snow world. It has the world's largest indoor ice and snow art museum and it opens to the public from November every year.
- Zhaolin Park - is a 'must see' during the Harbin Ice Festival because it has a traditional program that shows the most excellent ice lanterns. With water, lights and the natural ice from the Songhua River running through Harbin as the material, the ice lanterns are made by freezing water, piling up ice or snow, then carving, enchasing, decorating, etc.
- Yabuli International Ski Resort
Recommended Tours for Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Harbin: