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China’s Magical City of Ice

Ice sculptures are common in wedding parties and other occasions, but nothing you’ve seen before can compare to the ones displayed every year in the city of Harbin in China. While the place is cursed with terrible winters, the tough locals have managed to make the most of it.

A typical winter in Harbin, northern China, would see temperatures go as low as 2°F (that’s –19°C). Strong, cold winds blow in from Siberia, making almost everything freeze over. But the residents of the city keep themselves busy for several weeks during the winter season, hosting the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. The sculptures made as a part of this festival aren’t anything like your typical faries and unicorns. Artists and engineers get together to build massive structures out of ice – a small town if you will, consisting of churches, pyramids, pagodas and palaces. The structures are filled with modern amenities like elevators and escalators. Multicolored lights are installed inside the sculptures, making them look very beautiful in the dark, after sunset.

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Harbin Snow Sculpture Festival

I have to be honest and start by saying I’m a huge fan of winter and all that it implies, snow, ice, cold weather, the whole enchilada, so I guess I was a little subjective in picking this piece over others. But even you sun worshipers have to admit that these snow sculptures, especially the castles are simply amazing.

These were all sculpted in blocks of snow and ice, during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, in China by the most talented sculptures in the world. The festival dates back to 1963 and is one of the four largest ice and snow festivals, along with along with Japan’s Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada’s Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway’s Ski Festival.

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