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The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival 2018

WHERE? IN HARBIN, A CITY IN THE NORTHEASTERN PART OF CHINA. HARBIN IS ONE OF CHINA'S COLDEST CITIES WHERE TEMPERATURES CAN PLUNGE BELOW -30C .
When? The festival takes place yearly and starts on January 5th and lasts for ALMOST 2 months. Visitors from all over the world descend on China's winter wonderland. Last year 18 million people visited the festival.
THIS YEARS MAIN SCULPTURE IS A SKIER WITH ANGEL WINGS ON TOP OF A SNOW MOUNTAIN - ALLUDING TO BEIJING'S WINTER OLYMPICS IN 2022.
This years Life Size historic landmarks include ...
Beijing's Temple of Heaven
Bangkok’s Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Moscow’s Red Square
During the nights of the month-long festival, lights from inside and outside of the sculptures brilliantly illuminate a variety of architectural styles, fanciful castles, mythological and historical figures, ice lanterns and slides.
Fireworks light up the sky on various evenings while the dazzling multicolored ice sculptures light up the entire ground
OVER AND ABOVE THE ICE AND SNOW VILLAGE THERE ARE MANY WINTER ACTIVITIES. SWIMMERS DIVE INTO A POOL CARVED FROM THICK ICE DURING AN INTERNATIONAL WINTER SWIMMING MATCH. CHILDREN ENJOY ACTIVITIES SUCH AS ICE CYCLING, DOG SLEDDING AND THE SIBERIAN TIGER VILLAGE.
IT IS A COMPETITIVE EVENT, WITH TEAMS COMING FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD-THE UNITED STATES, RUSSIA, JAPAN, CANADA, SOUTH AFRICA, FRANCE ETC.
AT FIRST PARTICIPANTS IN THE FESTIVAL WERE MAINLY CHINESE, HOWEVER IT HAS SINCE BECOME THE LARGEST INTERNATIONAL ICE FESTIVAL AND COMPETITION. ABOUT 15,000 WORKERS HELPED CREATE THIS YEAR'S ICE WORLD.
EACH YEAR, THOUSANDS OF WORKERS SPEND DECEMBER PREPARING FOR THE FESTIVAL BY CUTTING BLOCKS OF ICE TWO TO THREE FEET THICK FROM THE SONGHUA RIVER, WHICH RUNS THROUGH HARBIN.
THEN USING ICE PICKERS, LASERS, AND CHISELS, MIXING IT WITH THE ABUNDANT SNOW AND SCULPTING THE INCREDIBLE MASTERPIECES.
History: The festival has roots in a centuries-old tradition of making ice lanterns out of frozen blocks cut from the Songhua River. Back in the Qing dynasty, peasants and fisherman would place candles inside of chunks of ice and turn them into makeshift lanterns. Harbin held its first ice lantern festival in 1963.
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