Have you ever been to Ice and Snow Sculpture Festivals? They are simply unbelievable even though they are right in front of your eyes. Just take a look at these photos of ice and snow sculptures: can you believe your eyes?
What are ice sculptures?
Sculptures are abstract or realistic in form and are made of ice. The sculptor uses razor/sharp chisels which are specially designed for cutting ice and tools like chain saws to complete a sculpture. The sculpting usually depends on the temperature of the environment. Some ice sculptors add dyes to produce coloured ice blocks.
What are snow sculptures?
Sculptures that are carved out of a single block of snow. The snow is collected from the ground after a snowfall and then packed into a form. The tools and materials differ widely, shovels, hatchets, saws.
Both ice and snow sculpture’s life is determined by the temperature around them. It could last from mere minutes to months.
About the Festival
A whole new world of ice and snow can be experienced at Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. Ice artworks are exhibited at following venues:
Ice and Snow World displays ice sculptures of huge scale such as palace buildings, the Great Wall of China etc. It is best visited when they are colorfully lit at night.
Ice Lantern Garden Party– The Ice Lantern Garden Party in Harbin City is the earliest and biggest artistic exhibition of the ice lantern in the open air. Tourists can take part in various activities in Songhua River such as: sitting on the ice sailing boat, hitting the ice monkeys, skating on the ice and watching the competition of winter swimming. When night falls, you are expected to attend the evening party of Harbin Ice Festival.
Sun Island Scenic Area– displays snow sculptures that can be only visited during the daytime.
Yabuli International Ski Resort– The resort provides great skiing with high mountains and good snow. Local skiers enjoy the high elevation and the fact that the snow is neither too hard nor too powdery. The period from November to late March of the next year is the best time to ski at Yabuli Ski Resort. Besides skiing, there are other entertainment facilities at the resort, such as the mini golf course, tennis court, turf courts, hot-air balloons, paragliders among others. The combination of activities, the beautiful forest and comfortable facilities offer tourists a relaxing and fun vacation. In winter, the ski resort is a fantastic place for skiers; in summer, tourists can escape the heat and enjoy fun outdoor activities. All year round the resort offers beautiful scenery.
Zhaolin Park– Features intricately carved ice lanterns that are lit up in the night. More than 1,000 ice sculptures are displayed such as internally illuminated ice lanterns, magical figures, and animals that are loved by children. It is mostly an ice world focused on kids. There are interesting activities that kids may enjoy such as ice slides.
The most popular of them is ‘Ice and Snow World’. It is worth its cost. People throng this beautiful and skilful place from around the world.
The ideal time to visit this park would be 10 am or 11 am so as to enjoy it in the daytime. You could also visit it in the night as it closes at 9 pm. Sculptures made of snow are beautifully carved and look spectacular. Snow White, Disney characters, angry birds, Buddha are few of those sculptures that you get to see there.
How to travel to Harbin?
Heilongjiang Province is located in the northeast part of China and the capital city is Harbin. Being on the east of Songnen Plain, plays a vital role in communications between South and North Asia as well Europe and the Pacific Ocean. The City has rich cultural heritages and beautiful natural scenery. Due to severe low temperatures in winter, the city boasts of unique ice and snow culture.
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If you wish to travel to Harbin, then there are regular flights, trains and buses from major cities of China. Tourists from 51 countries can enjoy 72 hours visa-free transit policy when transiting in Harbin Taiping International Airport. Book your travel in advance. You could take a taxi from Harbin train station to the Ice and Snow world.
Weather in Harbin
The weather is extremely cold. The city is considered the coldest city in Northern China and is ideal for Ice and Snow Festival. So, you need to carry warm jackets, thermals, mufflers and boots while traveling.
Finally, here is a list of the most famous Ice and Snow Sculpture festivals around the world:
- Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, China
- The Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan
- The World Ice Art Championships, Alaska
- The International Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival “Ice, Snow, and Fire, Russia
- The Quebec Winter Carnival, Canada
*/This post is inspired by my friend who visited China and shared the above photos for Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. /*
References: Map courtesy – mapregion.com