Visitors brave negative temps to marvel at Harbin Ice Festival

World Today

CHINA-LEISURE-SNOW-ICEVisitors walks in an ice mazeat the China Ice and Snow World on January 4, 2015 on the eve of the opening ceremony of the 16th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, northeast China’s Heilongjiang province. AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR

Thousands of tourists have flocked to the Harbin Ice Festival, China’s biggest winter celebration. Visitors brave freezing temperatures to slip and slide on ice. CCTV’s Liu Wenwen, reported this story from Harbin.

The northeastern city of Harbin has transformed into a winter wonderland.

Visitors brave negative temps to marvel at Harbin Ice Festival

While many prefer to remain indoors during Winter, while others have chosen to explore the great outdoors at China’s biggest ice celebration, Harbin Ice Festival. Thousands of tourists are braving the freezing temperatures to slip and slide on the ice, Liu WenWen reported this story from China.

“We don’t have any winter in Thailand so I want to come here and enjoy the freezing weather,” said a visitor who didn’t give her name. “Also they have the snow architectures, the ice palaces, so it is very beautiful.”

Outside a pedestrian mall, sculptors and carvers turn giant blocks of ice into intricate sculptures using scrapers, rakes, and other hand tools. Sculptor Ji Huailong, a Harbin native said that the process is complex.

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“The most difficult parts to sculpt are the face and the eyes,” Ji said. “We are carving Cupid and so he has to look like an angel coming from the sky, he represents love. His features need to be cute, soft, and harmonious.”

In another part of the city, visitors marvel at the International Snow Sculpture Art Expo at the city’s Sun Island Park.

For the more adventurous, the city also offers ice swimming competitions in sub-zero temperatures.

The annual Harbin Ice Festival runs through February 28th.

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