Tuesday, January 6, 2009

China's International Ice and Snow Festival : Beautiful Photos

China's International Ice and Snow Festival : Beautiful Photos

These impressive ice sculptures are part of a display for the upcoming Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.

China's International Ice and Snow Festival : Beautiful Photos

The festival officially begins on January 5, when 800,000 tourists are expected to visit the freezing city in northern China.

As well as the colorful life-sized ice buildings, which reflect traditional Chinese architecture, there is also a 160m high Father Christmas sculpture, said by organizers to be the world's largest. 10 more pics after the jump.
China's International Ice and Snow Festival : Beautiful Photos
Harbin, which fringes Siberia, plays host to the festival each year, but organizers have revealed that the effects of global warming are taking a toll as the snow and ice now melt more rapidly than in the past.
China's International Ice and Snow Festival : Beautiful Photos
Unseasonably warm temperatures have made the job especially challenging, said Tang Guangjun, one of the sculptors.
China's International Ice and Snow Festival : Beautiful Photos
'The weather swings between warm and cold, so it becomes very wet and slippery on the ice. It is very dangerous for us,' he said.
China's International Ice and Snow Festival : Beautiful Photos
The display is expected to boost local trade during the economic downturn.
China's International Ice and Snow Festival : Beautiful Photos
It can stimulate the economy and consumption. When people feel happier, they will want to spend more, so it will lift the economy of the city and even the country,' said Li Qingsheng, a tourist from Beijing.

Officials in Harbin remained optimistic about the tourist outlook for the winter.
China's International Ice and Snow Festival : Beautiful Photos
Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province on the edge of Siberia, is one of China's coldest places. Winter temperatures can drop to below minus 35 degrees Celsius.
China's International Ice and Snow Festival : Beautiful Photos
An estimated 800,000 tourists, 90 per cent of them Chinese, were expected to visit the ice festival, said Jia Yan, director of the local tourism bureau.
China's International Ice and Snow Festival : Beautiful Photos
The festival traditionally runs from mid-December to early February.

China's International Ice and Snow Festival : Beautiful Photos


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