The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival (Chinese: 哈尔滨国际冰雪节) has been held with interruption since 1963.
Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province in Northeast China, is under the direct influence of the cold winter wind from Siberia. The average temperature during the winter is -16.8 degrees Celsius, and it can be as cold as -38.1 degrees Celsius.
Officially, the festival starts January 5th and lasts one month. Ice sculpture are decorated by a range of technologies, ranging from modern (e.g. lasers) to traditional (e.g.ice lanterns). Additional attractions at the festival include Yabuli alpine skiing, winter-swimming in the Songhua River, and the ice-lantern exhibition in Zhaolin Garden.
The Harbin festival is one of the world's four largest ice and snow festivals, along with Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway's Ski Festival.