While many travelers dread the ice and snow that comes with a long winter, locals in China celebrate it with the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival each year. This enormous celebration was once a small, local custom that has grown into a beloved international affair.
The town of Harbin holds the festival every year starting Jan. 5, and lasting the month. During this time, ice sculptures are erected all throughout the city for people to discover. The primary sculpture exhibitions occur at Sun Island opposite of the Songhua River and at Ice and Snow World, which features full-sized ice buildings that light up at night.
During the month, locals celebrate with events such as winter swimming for the bravest among us, as well as touring activities and an ice lantern exhibit in one of the city’s largest gardens. There are also plenty of alpine skiing events and competitions during the weeks-long gala.
It’s truly a breathtaking celebration to behold and anyone who enjoys the beauty of winter and snow should experience it at least once in their lifetime. No one does winter quite like the people of Harbin, so if you find yourself in China this season be sure to check it out.
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