Harbin Ice and Snow Festival: One of world's biggest ice festivals opens in China

The sculptures include a full-sized steam train, a giant ice castle and a ice remake of China's largest bank

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Thousands of visitors have descended on China’s city of Harbin to celebrate one of the world’s biggest ice and snow festivals.

The 31st annual International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival began officially today and will showcase a number of impressive ice sculptures as well as providing ice-related activities for visitors.

Included among the sculptures are a full-sized steam train, a number of giant ice castles and a sculpture of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.


An ice maze, ice slides and an impressive evening light show are also part of the attractions.

The city of Harbin, found in the north-eastern tip of China, is known for its sub-zero temperatures. In 1963, local authorities decided to use the freezing temperatures to their advantage and organise an annual festival.

Since then, it has grown exponentially and is now regarded as one of the world’s most impressive annual collections of ice sculpture.

The festival officially opened today, but a small group of lucky revellers were allowed to test out the attractions as part of a trial run yesterday.