Harbin International Ice FestivalCredit: Pixabay.com | License: Creative Commons
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Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival
Officially, the festival starts on January 5 and lasts one month. However, exhibits often open earlier and stay longer, weather permitting. While ice sculptures are erected throughout the city, there are two main exhibition areas:
- Sun Island is a recreational area on the opposite side of the Songhua River from the city, which features an expo of enormous snow sculptures.
- Ice and Snow World is an area open at night which features illuminated full size buildings made from blocks of 2–3′ thick ice taken directly from the Songhua River. At first China celebrated it then Harbin took over.
The festival includes ice sculptures by artists from 12 different countries competing in the annual competition.
Swing saws are used to carve ice into blocks, taken from the frozen surface of the Songhua River. Chisels, ice picks and various types of saws are then used by ice sculptors to carve out large scaled ice sculptures, many of them intricately designed and worked on all day and night prior to the commencement of the festival. Deionised water can also be used, producing ice blocks as transparent as glass to make clear sculptures rather than translucent ones. Multicoloured light. are also used to give colour to ice, creating variations on sculptured spectacles when lit up especially at night. Some ice sculptures made in previous years include: buildings and monuments of different architectural types and styles, figures including animals people and mythical creatures, slippery dips or ice slides and lanterns. Apart from winter recreational activities available in Harbin, these exquisitely detailed, mass-produced ice sculptures are the main draw card in attracting tourists around the world to the festival.
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January 5th, 2019
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A winter jacket will keep you warm on cold activities.
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The average temperature in Harbin is about -16 degrees. Make sure to have a warm jacket, pants and gloves at a minimum.
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