Breaking the Ice:
The Ice Lantern Festival was the precursor to the current festival, which started in 1963 but was put on hold during the Cultural Revolution. A few hundred years ago, during the Qing Dynasty, local fishermen would hollow out pails of ice and put candles in them for light at night. Over time, lanterns went from being strictly functional to being an aesthetic fixture.
Today it's a combination of art and science that creates the elaborate and ornate ice and snow spectacle. Deionized water is used on some pieces to produce ice as transparent as glass, and multicolored lights add multi-dimensional depth and beauty. Over the course of a hurried half-month, more than 15,000 people carve (by hand or laser) more than 4 million cubic feet of ice. From scaled-down versions of the Forbidden City and the Great Wall to simpler student-created pieces, the sheer volume of beauty is staggering
Why Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival 2017?
During the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival , 800,000 visitors descend on the city,While there are amazing sculptures nearly everywhere you turn, there are a few amusement zones you shouldn’t miss.including Ice & Snow World (opening night only), Zhaolin Park (nighttime experience in the city center) and the Snow Sculpture Art Expo on Sun Island (daytime only, so not as photogenic).
Also fascinating is the Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern Fair. Though not as grandiose as the Harbin Snow and Ice World, it has equally impressive icy recreations of iconic buildings, world-famous figures as well as interpretations of ancient legends. At night, they are lit up with colored lights to create a magical effect.
The Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Fair that is touted as the birthplace of massive snow sculptures is open only during the day. Though the exhibits do not light up, they are pretty spectacular.
Those seeking something a little different can head over to the Ice and Snow Happy Valley. Situated on the frozen Songhua River, it offers visitors the option of 50 fun activities including snowmobiling, skating, snow cycling, sliding and dog sledding.
The best show is at night:
When the sun goes down, the colored lights go on. It’s a photographic bonanza, so make sure you know your camera well enough to capture those tricky night shots.
Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival 2017:
The 33rd Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival opens with a theme 'Happy Ice Snow, Exciting City' on January 5 in 2017. The festival is featured by grand opening ceremony, fireworks display and a series of theatrical performances, ice snow activities in Sun Island, Ice and Snow Amusement World, Zhaolin Park and more venues around ice city Harbin.