Harbin Ice & Snow Festival 

2016 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival
2016 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Photo by Wang Zhao / AFP

2016 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival
2016 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Visitors walk in front of a 51-meter-tall snow castle sculpture at the 32nd Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. Photo by WU HONG / EPA

2016 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival
2016 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Visitors take sleighs past snow sculptures

2016 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival
2016 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival
2015 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival
2015 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Visitors look around ice sculptures ahead of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the northern city of Harbin, China, Jan. 4, 2015. Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

2015 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival
2015 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Photo by Robert Schrader, http://leaveyourdailyhell.com

2015 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival
2015 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Photo by Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters

2015 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival
2015 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Photo by Robert Schrader, http://leaveyourdailyhell.com

2015 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival
2015 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

The annual festival features hundreds of activities related to snow and ice. Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

2016 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival
2016 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Photo from www.timetravelo.com

Harbin Ice & Snow Festival
Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Visitors tour a maze built out of ice bricks. Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

Harbin Ice & Snow Festival
Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

A family pull a sleigh before the opening ceremony. Photo by Wang Zhao

Every year since 1985, in northeast China's Heilongjiang province, the city of Harbin hosts the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, featuring magnificent ice and snow sculptures in a dream-like landscape. 

 

The annual winter wonderland, now in its 32nd year, is made up of several themed zones including a sculpture art expo and a lantern fair.   The 2016 edition has been the largest ever, the size of 112 football fields.  The main attraction is the Harbin Ice and Snow World, which covers more than 750,000 square meters.  A record 330,000 cubic meters of ice and snow were used.  The main tower, 46.5 meters high, was built with 20,000 cubic meters of ice, which might be the highest ice tower in the world.  A team of Chinese and Dutch designers spent three months in landscaping the park, which was built by more than 10,000 workers. The result is one of the most attractive festivals to date.

 

The attractions are built to be white and pristine during the day, but are colorfully illuminated at night, and visitors can climb and play on some of the structures.

 

The 2016 festival officially opened on January 5, and will run through the end of February.  More than a million visitors are anticipated.