The Harbin International Ice Festival is one of world’s four biggest ice and snow festivals, along with the famous ones in Sapporo, Norway, and Quebec. Harbin is called “Ice City”, and the winters are bitterly cold, but the conditions are right for the ice festival.
Below are some of the sculptures from the 31st Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China.
Visitors are silhouetted against lighted ice sculptures at the Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2014. The festival kicks off on Sunday. (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)
The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is originated from local Harbiner traditional ice lantern show garden party in winter since 1963.
It was halted for a number of years during the Cultural Revolution.
On January 5, 1985, it was declared as an annual event at Zhaolin Park.
Harbin is located in Northeast China where the climate is influenced by the cold winter wind from Siberia.
The average temperature in summer is 21.2 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Farenheit), and -16.8 degrees Celsius (1.76 degrees Farenheit) in winter.
Annual low temperatures below –35 degrees Celsius (–31 Farenheit) are not uncommon. (EPA)