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What is the Harbin International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival?
Each winter the city of Harbin, in the far north of China, hosts the world's largest snow and ice sculpture festival which attracts millions of visitors. Covering an area of over 750,000 square meters, some sculptures tower as high as 30 meters/100 feet and routinely set world records for their size. But it is not just the size that is impressive, the intricacy and design of the sculptures are truly impressive - past sculptures have included renditions of the Great Sphinx, Forbidden City, Kremlin and Colosseum. While the sculptures are impressive at any time of day, many are illuminated at night, making them even more impressive!
While the festival is what draws the crowds - there are lots of winter activities in and around Harbin in the winter months. The Songhua River freezes over and becomes a playground for skating, biking and even pony rides. Dress warm though, temps of -31F/-35C are not uncommon!
Need to Know
This festival is somewhat weather dependent - it usually opens in early January and runs until late February or early March. Dates can change slightly at short notice, and weather permitting the festival often opens early.
Did You Know
The ice used in the sculptures at the festival is cut out in massive blocks from the nearby Songhua River. After being transported to the site, artists then saw, chiseled and polish the blocks into their sculptures.
Coronavirus is causing a number of event cancellations; we provide event website links on each page for you to check the latest updates.
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