Harbin is the capital city of the Heilongjiang Province which is the most north-easterly part of China and borders Russia. During the long cold winter months the temperature can drop down to as low as -22°F (-30°C). Snow carvings, ice lanterns, fireworks display and snow recreations make Harbin one of China’s most popular winter destinations.
The Harbin International Ice Festival is one of world’s four largest international ice festivals, along with Japan’s Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada’s Quebec Winter Carnival, and Norway’s Ski Festival. It starts annually on January 5 and lasts for over one month, weather permitting. During this period, people throughout the world take part in the various artist, cultural, athletic and tourist events. The 27th Harbin Ice and Snow Festival started on January 5, 2011.

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

01. Spectators watch fireworks explode over ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display, during the official opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

02. Workmen put the finishing touches to an ice sculpture at the entrance to the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display in the northern city of Harbin, in Heilongjiang province January 4, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will be officially launched on January 5. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

03. A workman walks near ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 4, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will be officially launched on January 5. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

04. Vendors selling beer and food stand in front of ice sculptures as they wait for customers at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 4, 2011. The festival will be officially launched on January 5. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

05. Workmen put the finishing touches to a large snow sculpture at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 4, 2011. The ice festival will be officially launched on January 5. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

06. Workmen put the finishing touches to ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 4, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will be officially launched on January 5. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

07. Vendors push their stalls past workmen as they put the finishing touches to ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 4, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will be officially launched on January 5. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

08. Workmen put the finishing touches to an ice sculpture of a castle at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 4, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will be officially launched on January 5. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

09. Workmen hang from a crane as they put the finishing touches to an ice sculpture for the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 4, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will be officially launched on January 5. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

10. Horse-drawn carriages pass in front of ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 4, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will be officially launched on January 5. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

11. A man stands with his horse and carriage as he waits for visitors in front of a massive ice sculpture at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 4, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will be officially launched on January 5. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

12. The sun sets behind horses attached to carriages in front of ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 4, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will be officially launched on January 5. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

13. A workman hangs from a crane as he puts the finishing touches to an ice sculpture for the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 4, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will be officially launched on January 5. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

14. Workmen put finishing touches to a large snow sculpture at a traffic intersection in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow festival will be officially launched with a fireworks display on Wednesday night. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

15. A workman puts finishing touches to a large snow sculpture at a traffic intersection in the northern Chinese city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow festival will be officially launched with a fireworks display on Wednesday night. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

16. Workmen put finishing touches to a large snow sculpture at a traffic intersection in the northern Chinese city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow festival will be officially launched with a fireworks display on Wednesday night. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

17. An ice sculptor works on blocks of ice as pedestrians walk along a footpath behind, on a main road in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow festival will be officially launched with a fireworks display on Wednesday night. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

18. A workman sweeps in front of a snow sculpture of a large house, at a traffic intersection in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow festival will be officially launched with a fireworks display on Wednesday night. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

19. Spectators watch as fireworks explode over ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display, during the official opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

20. Spectators watch fireworks explode over ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display during the official opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

21. Spectators watch as fireworks explode over ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display, during the official opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

22. Spectators stand in front of ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display, during the official opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011.REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

23. Spectators watch as fireworks explode over ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display, during the official opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

24. Spectators stand near ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display during the official opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

25. Spectators walk near ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display, during the official opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

26. Spectators walk near ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display, during the official opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

27. Spectators walk near ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display, during the official opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

28. Spectators walk near ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display, during the official opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

29. Spectators watch fireworks explode over ice sculptures at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display during the official opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

Harbin International Ice Festival 2011

30. A visitor sits atop a snow sculpture at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display, during the official opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province January 5, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

Jan 06, 2011