The 26th annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is now in full swing, with shivery sculptures of everything from Disney characters to icy life-sized landmarks dotting the city.
Incredible during the day, the sight is even more spectacular when lit up at night.There’s of course the legendary Ice Bar, where you can stop in, grab an icy stool, and sip a cold dry martini. Perfect! Now the tenth-largest city in China, Harbin began as a small, isolated fishing village. Local fisherman carved lamp shades out of ice blocks, which inspired a wildly successful ice lantern show in 1963. The show slowly morphed into a fantasy-like international competition. This year, hundreds of blocks of ice have been cut from the Songhua River, and expertly chiseled into these zany sculptures.?
Art-gazing isn’t all there is to do in Harbin this winter, though. Sporting competitions, weddings on ice, a frozen sailboat, foolhardy winter swimming, and some of the best alpine skiing in China are all just waiting to be explored!
These frosty works of genius should last until late February, unless global warming has different plans.