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World’s largest Snow and Ice Festival in Harbin is back

Christian Fernsby ▼ | January 13, 2020
Each January Harbin in China hosts the International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, the largest event of its kind.
China   10,000 people are needed just to transport and sculpt the ice
Close to 10,000 people are needed just to transport and sculpt the ice that attracts spectators. The structures are built using 777,000 cubic feet of ice blocks obtained from the nearby Songhua River and cover 6.5 million square feet of land. At night, they're illuminated by colorful, interior lights to create a dazzling display.

The first-ever Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival took place in Harbin in 1985.

Today, the attraction lasts a little less than two months and draws millions of visitors from around the world.

The effect is inspired by the traditional lanterns of Heilongjiang, the province where Harbin is located. There, lanterns are carved from ice and lit up with candles. These traditional lanterns are much smaller than the festival's ice sculptures, which can reach as high as 150 feet.

Where: Harbin, China
When: Until February 25
Good to know: Tickets $48