In pictures: China's Harbin ice festival

In pictures: China's Harbin ice festival

A worker walks past a snow sculpture before the opening of the annual Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in Harbin in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on Jan 5, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Greg Baker)

HARBIN, Heilongjiang: Harbin, China's famed Ice City, started welcoming visitors to its International Ice and Snow Festival on Friday (Jan 5).

Visitors are invited into a fantasy wonderland of giant ice sculptures and snow activities, themed Ice Snow Blooming Garden, Fantastic World.

People visiting the Harbin Ice and Snow World on Jan 4, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Greg Baker) 

Computer-controlled LED lighting effects are used to animate stunning displays of colour and design on the huge ice sculptures.

Around 10,000 workers helped create this year's ice world, which covers a sprawling 600,000 sq m (or 84 soccer fields) in a park next to the Songhua River.

A woman takes a selfie before the opening of the annual Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in Harbin. (Photo: AFP/Greg Baker)
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Visitors in a tunnel illuminated by coloured lights at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. (Photo: AFP/Nicolas Asfouri)  

Earlier in the week, artists gathered at the festival venue to put the final touches on their ice sculptures - some resembling famous historical figures and others landmarks such as Beijing's Temple of Heaven and Moscow's Red Square.

Visitors at the Harbin Ice and Snow World, part of the Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. (Photo: AFP/Greg Baker)

The head of Harbin’s sculpture academy Han Zhenkun said the sheer size of the sculptures displayed at the festival is what differentiates it from other festivals around the world.

Harbin is one of China's coldest cities and temperatures can drop as low as -35°C.

People visit ice sculptures illuminated by coloured lights as fireworks illuminate the night sky marking the opening of the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. (Photo: AFP/Nicolas Asfouri)

Touted as the world’s biggest winter festival, the annual show in China's northeast Heilongjiang province has been held since 1983 and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. The festival runs until Feb 28.

Source: CNA/Reuters/da

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