Ice Festival


Harbin in China is called an ice city because of its long and extremely cold winter. For centuries, Harbin was just a dot on the map. During the long, freezing winters, when temperatures dipped to -25°C, the local fishermen would carve ice blocks from the frozen rivers into rough lampshades and hollow bulbs. These were placed over candles to prevent the icy winds from blowing them out.

In 1963, the residents organised the first ice lantern show. The show was a success and since then Harbin has been hosting an annual ice and snow festival between December and February every year.

Thousands of neon lights fixed inside the sculptures come on at night, transforming the entire site into a breathtaking and surreal thing of beauty.