The Harbin International Ice & Snow Festival has been celebrated annually since 1985, which officially starts January 5 and lasts one month. As the largest and most extraordinary of its kind in the world, this great festival is held to coincide with the Harbin Ice and Snow World Exhibition of Ice Sculptures held in the Stalin Park, the Snow Sculptures Fair in the Sun Island and the Ice Lanterns Fair held in Zhaolin Park (in central Harbin next to the Songhua River).
During the festival, many events are held, for example, fantastic fireworks display (on opening night), winter swimming, ice hockey games, football games on the snow ground, skiing races, speed skating races, ice sculpture competition, poetry jamboree, wedding ceremony and ice & snow cinematics festival. All these events have yearly attracted numerous snow enthusiasts from around the world to visit Harbin.
Nowadays, this festival has been reputed to be the world-class ice and snow Disneyland.
Sun Island is situated on the north bank of the Songhua River, opposite the Stalin Park, noted for its summer resort as well as its winter events. In winter, when snow covers this beautiful island, tourists from all over the world will gather here to ski, make snow men, take the sleds draw by the horses or dogs, go sled sailing, participate in the Snow Sculpture Faire... lots of activities you can join. Landing on this island and imbibing fresh air in the snow world, you will linger on there to enjoy all things that you forget to go back your hotel.
Ice Lantern Art Fair
Harbin is the home of the Ice Lantern Art. Started in 1963, it has been successfully held many times in Zhaolin Park in Harbin. This ice lantern art fair is now the biggest and oldest one of its kind, and the largest outdoor ice lantern art fair with the classic traditional programs. It has been sung high praises by many Chinese state leaders and created 7 Guinness World Records in these years.
The materials of the lantern making are from the ice in the Songhua River, water and colored lights. Piling, building, laying, sculpting, spraying, watering, setting the ice according to different themes and overall arrangements in the park, the artists from all over the world will display you myriad fantastic lanterns before you! Ice building, ice sculptures, ice waterfalls, ice parterres, ice sliding boards, ice calligraphy, ice miniature gardens, ice ad, ice flowers, ice mountains...form a wonder garden here, wherever you move, what come into your sight is the diverse beautiful lanterns.
If you are lucky, you may participate in the international sculpture competition in Zhaolin Park. But in a word, visit the Ice Lantern Fair is should not miss in your Harbin trip.
Ice and Snow World
The Ice and Snow World cam be traced back to 1999 for greeting the arrival of the new millennium. With varied themes in each year, it has been reputed as the ice Disneyland of the world.
This year, the Ice and Snow World is open on 24th Dec. 2007, and will admit 50,000 visitors at the same time. For meeting the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the theme of this time will be focused on the Olympics. Just as it theme "Snow world, Olympics Dreams" indicates that it will tell the origin and the development of the Olympics in the ice and snow language, and display its events at a different angle. The Ice and Snow World will combine snow with sightseeing, entertainment, and participation.
This year, the Ice and Snow World will cover an area approximately 400,000 square meters, use ice and snow 120,000 and 100,000 cubic meters respectively. It will consist of six thematic scenic areas, namely Olympics Sacred Flame Area, 2009Universiade Area, Holy Olympus Area, Recreational World Area, and Fuwa Paradise Area. In the Ice and Snow World garden, you will enjoy over 2,000 scenic points or sights, or can join in many activities, and in this fascinating world, you will share the glamour and conviviality of the Olympics with more people.
Besides, in the Ice and Snow World garden, you will admire the most beautiful, most grand and most charming ice and snow wonders. You can drink in the ice bars, visit the ice inns or hotels, play golf or football games on the snow ground, and go ice rock-climbing or treasure hunting in the ice labyrinth... and if you visit there at night, you will see a fairyland decorating with colored lights. At that time, your dreams of the ice and snow will come true there.
Snow Sculpture Fair
The 20th Snow Sculpture Fair will be open on 20th Dec.2007. It is reported that this fair will be the largest in scale and investment in history. Its theme is "French Flavor Condense in Harbin", so you will see the sculptures are imitations of the French buildings and sculptures. Being artistic, enjoyable and participable, it will be a great pageant in winter.
Furthermore, many cultural activities and sculpture competitions will be held during the fair. You can enjoy the programs of entertainment, Taiji performance (shadow boxing, twice a day during the fair), ice-ground dragon boat race, the Heilongjiang Province Sculpture Competition, National Sculpture Competition, and International Sculpture Competition.
Humanly, in the fair, you will get some considerate services. There are multifunctional tourist service centre and convenient & fast traffic facilities; the tour guide service, the muffed and skid-proof shoes covers, the muffed coats, souvenirs, and guide maps etc. are free provided; and you will not shudder with cold if you take the tourist cars with muffed cushions.