If you are stumped for things to do for Chinese New Year and the thought of Siberian-like cold and a hot bowl of borscht seem more appealing then the beaches of Boracay, perhaps Harbin is a city you might consider visiting. Harbin’s annual ice and sculpture festival started this week and runs until the end of February, weather permitting.
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Photos by Jonathan Deves from Harbin Ice and Sculpture Festival in 2008.
Established in 1985 as a simple festival, the Ice and Snow Festival has now transformed into one of the biggest winter attractions in China and the fourth largest ice and snow festival in the world, along with Japan’s Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada’s Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway’s Ski Festival.
In the evenings, the sculptures are lit up and ice-lantern park touring activities are held in many parks throughout the city. A number of other winter events take place in the city at the same time as the festival: fireworks display, ice hockey competitions, winter swimming, skiing and speed skating events, football games on expansive snow grounds, poetry jamboree, and ice and snow cinematic festival.