Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is an annual winter festival in China and you really should not be missed during the period from Christmas to Chinese Spring Festival
The 33rd Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival started on January 5, 2017, and lasts from Dec. 25, 2016 to February 28, 2017.
Harbin Ice Festival offer the visitors a feast of eyes: wonderland of ice lanterns and snow sculpture, as well as various ice and snow activities each year.
Because of its location in northeast China accounting for the arctic climate, it provides abundant natural ice and snow. Subsequently, the “Ice City” of Harbin is recognized as the cradle of ice and snow art in China and is famous for its exquisite and artistic ice and snow sculptures.
* Ice Lantern Festival at night is poetic and colourful fiesta of ice and light.
* Daytime Snow Sculpture Expo on Sun Island is worldly famous
* Drive into a park of over 200 free roaming Siberian tigers and lions on snow, feed them with flying pheasants and watch them capturing their prey is special experience. Great fun for both adults & children.
* Watch swiming and diving peformance on the frozen river, and play ice Slides.
* Drink in an ice Bar on the street of Russian-influenced architecture.
* Japanese Germ Warfare Base in Harbin is an eye-opening site to get to know the history of World War II in the Far East.
Harbin Snow and Ice Sculpture festival begin officially on the second week of January annually till mid February. But they are actually open to the visitors right after the Christmas, when ice lanterns are complete and 80% snow sculptures are done. By then, you can see sculptors working on them.
The ice carvings at the Harbin Ice and Snow World are regarded as some of the world's finest examples of ice art, with visitors able to admire some of the largest and most majestic ice-sculpted masterpieces. Each of these ice carvings are designed in some way related to the festival's theme, enabling travelers to sample a variety of cultural flavors.
The Ice Lantern Garden Party in Harbin City is the earliest and biggest artistic exhibition of the ice lantern in the open air in the world covering an area of 6.5 hectare (about 16 acres) and the quantity of used ice is about 2,000 stere (about 71000 cubic feet). It is listed as one of the 35 national 'absolutely rare and wonderfully beautiful' scenic spots by National Tourist Office.
The Sun Island Park 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.
The Yabuli International Ski Resort, the biggest and best ski resort in China, is 200 kilometers (124 miles) east of Harbin and 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Mudanjiang in Shangzhi City, Heilongjiang Province.
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.
Nowadays, Harbin Ice Festival is not only an exposition of ice and snow art, but also an annual cultural event for international exchange. Every year, there are many ice sculpture experts, artists and fans from America, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Russia, China, etc. gathering in Harbin to participate ice sculpting competitions and to communicate with each other in the ice and snow world.
There's more to do during winter as Harbin is ready to celebrate yet another annual ice festival in 2011.