The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival has been held since 1963. It had been interrupted for a number of years during the Cultural Revolution, until it was resumed in 1985.
Harbin, the capital of Heilonjiang province of China, it is one of the main sources of ice and snow culture in the world. Geographically, it is located in Northeast China under the direct influence of the cold winter wind from Siberia. The average temperature in summer is 21.2 degrees Celsius, -16.8 degrees Celsius in the winter. It can be as cold as -38.1 degrees Celsius in the winter.
|Niagra falls sculpture|
The festival lasts the whole month. However the exhibits often open earlier and stay longer, weather permitting. Ice sculpture decoration technology ranges from the modern (using lasers) to traditional (with ice lanterns). There are ice lantern park touring activities held in many parks throughout the city. Winter activities in the festival include Yabuli alpine skiing, winter swimming in the Songhua River, and the ice lantern exhibition in Zhaolin Garden.
The 2007 festival featured a Canadian theme, in memoriam of Canadian doctor Norman Bethune. It was also a Guinness Record of the largest snow sculpture: over 500 feet long and 28 feet high, using over 13,000 cubic meters of snow. The composition consisted of two parts: "Niagara Falls" and "Crossing the Bering Strait" (the latter depicting the migrations of the First Nations).