Every year, the city of Harbin in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province transforms into a winter wonderland known as “Snow and Ice World.”
During the winter, the average temperature in Harbin is only 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why it is often referred to as the “Ice City.”
Chilling northern winds from Siberia freeze the local Songhua River. Ice from the river’s surface is then harvested to construct the impressive Snow and Ice World.
This year alone, 180,000 tons of ice were harvested for the city’s 17th annual Ice Festival — the largest festival of its kind in the entire world.
Workers use chainsaws to cut the ice into building blocks, which are then used to construct stunning castles, arches, towers, and pagodas, as well as delicate sculptures.
Snow and Ice World has become a world-famous attraction. What started as a local event has transformed into international eye candy — the festival’s organisers are expecting 1.5 million visitors from all over the world to attend this year.
This year’s festival kicked off on January 5th, and is expected to run until February 5th.
Story and editing by Ben Nigh
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