The Ice and Snow Festival of China is the most awaited festival held in Harbin during winter. It was established in 1985, and this event takes place in Harbin- is the Capital and Largest City of Heilongjiang Province. Harbin is also known as the "Ice City" as it conducts Ice Sculpture Festival in the winter. Earlier this was only celebrated by the people of China, but now it has gained recognition as "International Ice and Snow Festival", and people from all parts of the world come to participate in it. It is one of the world's biggest winter festival with massive Ice Sculptures and the Beautiful Lighting.
Harbin Ice and Snow Festival China
Being Harbin's main tourist attraction it helps in growing the economy and trade of China as there are three important Chinese festivals ahead – New Year's Day, Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival. Every year the theme of this festival is changes and in 2018 it is "Bright Pearl of the Crown of Ice and Snow", which include a variety of activities with ice and snow, culture, tourism, fashion and sports, welcoming all the tourists from worldwide.
Highlights of Harbin Festival:
Every year around 10 to 15 million visitors come to attend this festival to have a glance of the World's Greatest Ice and Snow Artwork Festival (600,000 square meters). The height of the tallest Ice Sculpture is about 46 meters and nearly 10,000 workers cut and haul the blocks of ice. Harbin Festival is bigger than the ones in Sapporo, Norway, and Quebec where the size of the snow sculptures and ice architecture exhibits keeps growing.
Harbin Ice and Snow World
With the growth of modern technology the lightning effects on the huge ice sculptures in the Ice and Snow World are technically delighted as they use fully computer controlled LEDs which regulate lighting to animate stunning displays of colors and designs.
When is Harbin Ice Festival held?
Every year this festival is held from the end of December through February. Also, depending on the weather the opening and ending dates keep changing.
Venues for the Festival:
In general, each of the three venues have different entry prices and hours.
1)Sun Island Scenic Area:- It exhibits Snow Sculptures which can be viewed only during daytime.
2)Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern Festival:- It is an evening exhibition which exhibits more than 1,000 ice sculptures, displayed with internally illuminated ice lanterns, animals and magical figures which are loved by children.
3)Ice and Snow World:- It is an evening exhibition mostly an ice world focused on kids entertainment with interesting activities like ice slides which kids enjoy the most.
Sun Island Snow Sculptures
Zhaolin Park in Harbin
A Child enjoying in Ice and Snow World Harbin
Other than this Ice Festival in China, People of China also celebrate the following:
Chinese Calendar with 12 Animal Signs of Chinese Zodiac
Lantern Festival in China
The other sightseeing places during this festive season are St. Sophia Church, Harbin Polarland and Songhua River.
How to Reach:
By Road: One can visit the Ice Festival in Harbin via major highways which terminate or pass through Harbin as Beijing–Harbin, Heihe–Dalian, Harbin–Tongjiang, Changchun–Harbin, and Manzhouli–Suifenhe highways.
By Air: Taiping International Airport is the second largest airport which offers flights to travel from Beijing to Harbin to see the Festival, sheduled early in the morning to late at night. The journey takes 3 hours to reach the sites of Ice Festival.
By Train: Incomparison with the flights, travelling by train is the best mode of transportation which saves a lot of time. The bullet trains are very comfortable. There are 5 high-speed bullet trains (about 8 hours) and 9 overnight normal trains from Beijing to Harbin.
Image Courtesy: www.travelchinaguide.com, www.tripadvisor.fr, www.uchinatravel.com, metro.co.uk.