Published on : Monday, January 8, 2018
The Red Square in Moscow, a UNESCO World Heritage Center, its ice sculptures and Bangkok’s Temple of the Emerald Buddha are among the top attractions featured in the largest ice festival of the world.
The Harbin International Ice and Snow sculpture festival in the frosty northeastern Chinese city are famous for its huge, striking and colorfully lit ice statues featuring, cartoon characters, animals and world-renowned landmarks.
Few this years’ displays centre on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s most important foreign policy and trade proposal, the One Belt One Road, an ambitious proposal to connect Asia and Europe with a network of railways, ports and other infrastructure.
Ice sculpture artist Han Zhenkun planned his work keeping in mind the historic Silk Road.
“Back then, through the Silk Road, exquisite art works from China like potteries were transported by camels and horses to the Western world,” Han said.
This week, main activities will start and the festival will continue through late February, with huge crowds being anticipated at the time of the Lunar New Year celebrations, starting from February 15-23. At this time of the year, temperatures can go down below zero Fahrenheit (minus 18 Celsius).
The festival in 2017 attracted over 18 million visitors and 28.7 billion yuan ($6.1 billion) were earned in terms of tourism revenue for Harbin, as mentioned in the data from the city’s tourism bureau showed.
One park, the Harbin Ice-Snow World, shows over 2000 ice sculptures made out of 180,000 cubic meters of ice collected from the Songhua River by around thousand workers. The sculptures in the evening are lit with colorful lights.