If you think you know how a winter wonderland looks, we invite you to think again. Even though your image may be filled more with fairy-lights, Christmas-trees and cinnamony smells as most of us probably associate the season with Christmas celebrations, these pictures from the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival will offer quite a different but no less fascinating perspective on what a winter wonderland can be.
This festival is an annual event taking place in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China and is currently the largest snow and ice festival in the world. Its history started in 1999 when the first Ice and Snow World was opened to the public in December. At first, the participants were almost all Chinese, however, it kept growing and growing until it was decided to make it an international festival and competition. Take a look at the wonders that these ice-sculptors came up with!
More info: Habin Ice
Harbin has earned the status of one of the coldest places on Earth. But the city found the most beautiful way to embrace their icy existence.
They adapted to the chilly weathers so well, they actually celebrate it and do that in the best way possible - they've been throwing marvelous winter festivities for the last 36 years during the International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.
The 36th annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival opened on the 5th of January and is themed "Ice Snow Integration, Happy to Go Together", giving a lot of freedom for sculptors to express their creativity.
Harbin carved it's name strongly into all the books of popular winter destinations with it's annual winter wonderland that takes approximately 220.000 cubic meters of ice and snow to be built.
The festival attracts up to 15 million visitors annually, according to China Highlights.
The entire 600,000-square-meter area is filled with wonderful ice sculptures this year, the tallest one of them being 150 feet tall.
10,000 workers were brought in to cut, haul and sculpt the ice.