Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival

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Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival have been started in 1985. This is one of the worlds famous winter festival conducted in the ice city of Harbin and is considered as the pioneer project of ice and snow art in China. The concept of the project is adopted from the Harbin's traditional ice lantern show which was used conduct during winter season and started in 1963. During Cultural Revolution, this show was interrupted and reproduced as Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival at the Zhaolin Park. Today this festival is conducted annually on 5th January, 1985.

The festival attracts tourists and snow art enthusiasts from all over the world. The 30th festival was concluded in 5th January 2014. There shall be innovative themes as a master stroke and people can participate in the show in their personal capacity or as sponsored group. The show shall be conducted in five location of the park, which as known as Ice and Snow World, Ice Lantern Garden Party, Sun Island Scenic Area, Yabuli International Ski Resort and Zhaolin Park. The city, the head quarter of Heilongjiang Province, located in the northeast part of China is famous for its arctic climate.  Naturally formed ice and snow are the main reason, how the place developed in to the snow festival location.

Origin of the Ice Lantern:
The known history of Ice Lantern festival could be seen from Qing Dynasty. In those days during winter season, locals made ice lanterns as jack-lights. The creation of Ice Lantern is so easy if you would know the technique. Water poured in to a bucket and when it is formed in to ice, kept outside for a while and pulled out. The ice block will be in the form a bucket. A hole is drilled on top of the ice block and the water is drained out to create a hollow ice block. Then, a candle is placed inside to keep it illuminated. The thin/thick ice film acts like a windshield. The lanterns are placed in an open place. The practice got lot of popularity within a short time. Over the years, lot of tweaks of technologies brought in to the creation of Ice Lantern that added color, beauty and shape.

The Sun Island Park: This is the famous location for exhibition of wonderful snow creations. Artists create numerous ice sculptures here and show is opened for public from November.

Ice and Snow World: This pavilion started in 1999 is best known for the traditional sculpture works derived from the Chinese fairy tales, world famous land marks, monuments, human made wonders etc.

Zhaolin Park: This is an inevitable location tourist shall never miss out. The ice art work is created on Songhu River which is running through the city formed as a huge ice carving material. With colored lighting and various forms ice art works, engravings, decorations, the entire area would like a magical proportion beyond imagination.

Admission to the exhibition festival pavilion is against entry fee. Different exhibition shall be having different entry fee structure. Children above 1.2 meter don't have to pay full ticket charges. Also, children under 1.2 meter height shall be allowed to enter free of charges. Combo tickets are also offered which include round trip tourist bus services. Regular bus and tourist bus services are available from the Harbin city bus terminal. Tourists are advised to go through the activities schedule to know more details about the various activities. It could be seen that lot of international and local Ice and Snow sports, games and other activities are regularly being conducted here.

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