World’s Largest Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival has Began in North China

The 35th Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, the world’s biggest snow and ice festival, has officially began on January 5, 2019 and run until February 5, 2019.

The annual festival is set in the northern Chinese province of Heilongjiang. One of its most popular attractions, the Harbin Ice and Snow World, spans over 600,000 square metres and includes more than 100 landmarks this year. It’s made of 110,000 cubic metres of ice and 120,000 cubic metres of snow.

All the elaborate ice buildings and intricately carved sculptures are made from blocks cut from the frozen Songhua River, one of China’s primary estuaries. Blocks weighing up to 700 kilogrammes each are shaped into different themes, including animals and architectural wonders. Multi-coloured lights also give the structures a dazzling glow.

In addition, the 8th Harbin International Ice Sculpture Competition will be held during the festival. 64 competitors from 12 countries, such as Spain, Italy, Russia and the UK, are due to participate in the tournament.

Other activities include ice lantern park touring, Alpine skiing and winter swimming.

The festival originated during Harbin’s traditional ice lantern show and garden party that takes place every winter. It began in 1963 and, after a break, resumed in 1985.