The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is an annual tradition in China, which has made the the festival the fourth largest ice festival, together with Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway's Ski Festival. Originating in 1963 in the town of Harbin, in northern China, the festival began as a local Harbiner traditional ice lantern show garden party. Stopped during the Cultural Revolution, the festival resumed in 1983 and soon gained worldwide attention for the amazing and intricate artistic creations made of ice and snow, which take months to prepare.
The annual festival begins on January 5 and is a month-long celebration of winter’s best in ice and snow sculptural design. The opening ceremony features a fireworks display as well as a series of performances to welcome visitors from around the world. The preparation is a monumental task with locals beginning work in November in preparation for the event, and these locals begin celebrations early, the third week of December, when most of the sculpture work is complete. Here are some highlights of the 2016 festival. To learn more, visit harbinice.com.
Images courtesy of harbinice.com