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Home > Travel News > 2012 Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival

2012 Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival


The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival which is annually launched on January 5, is one of the largest ice-carving festivals in the world, and features a range of ice-related activities including ice swimming, hot air ballooning, skiing, sledding, ice sculpture competitions, and various winter sports.

Blocks of ice chainsawed from the Songhua River provide the material for the sculptures, and competitors use knives and saws to carve the large blocks into animals, mythical figures, buildings, or copies of artworks. Past sculptures have represented such things as castles, towers, the Statue of Liberty, the Great Wall of China, and an onion-domed Russian church. Teams of sculptors come from all over the world and their work - glowing from the neon tubes of purple, pink, blue and green that shine from inside - fills the city square.

The festival includes ice lantern and sculpture exhibitions. Thousands of ice lanterns, ice carvings and snow sculptures turn the city into a dreamlike world of pure whiteness and gleaming crystal. A highlight of the festival is the "Ice and Snow World" - the world's largest amusement park devoted to ice and snow.

Harbin is one of China's coldest cities, located in the northeast province of Heilongjiang, where the mercury in January often drops to minus 20 degrees centigrade (-4℉).

Best Time to Visit
Harbin Snow and Ice Sculpture festival begin officially on the second week of January annually till late February. But they are actually open to the visitors right after the Christmas, when ice lanterns are complete and 80% snow sculptures are done. By then, you can see sculptors working on them.

Harbin Ice and Snow World, Harbin Ice Lantern Art Fair, Yabuli Holiday Ski Resort, Siberian Tiger Park, China's Snow Town, Dragon Tower, St. Sophia Church, Sun Island, Central Street, Unit 731 Museum, Stalin Park, Zhaolin Park, Harbin Polarland, Erlongshan Ski Resort

Opening times
The Ice and Snow World opens from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and the Snow Sculpture Expo opens from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Getting there
Travelers can fly in to Harbin from over a dozen domestic airports or take trains from some main cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin etc.. There are also international flights to Harbin from Hong Kong, Russia, Niigata, Seoul,  Khabarovsk, Vladivostok and Los Angeles.

Recommended classical tours of Harbin:

3-Day Harbin Winter Tour
4-Day Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
5-Day Harbin Winter Adventure
5-Day Harbin Skiing Tour
6-Day Harbin Winter Vacations
4-Day Harbin Winter City Escape
5-Day Harbin Winter Break
7-Day Beijing and Harbin Winter Vacation
9-Day China Wintry Delights

The 2012 Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival will be held on Jan. 5 and last to the end of Feb. For more details about the festival, winter activities, travel info, Harbin winter tours, or history of Harbin, please visit http://www.chinafacttours.com/harbin/index.html

Questions & Comments

  • Ripple on October 19, 2011, 12:00 pm

    The theme of the 28th Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival was set as “激情悦动,大美冰城” in Chinese by the sponsor and operator in Oct. 17, it may be translated into "the dynamic passion, the charmng icy city" in Englsih. Hope it helps.

  • Joe Wild on October 19, 2011, 3:34 am

    Hello, i am currently considering visiting the 2012 Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival and was wondering what the theme of this years festival will be?

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