The city of Harbin is the capital of Heilongjian province ,located in the northwest of China,between north latitude of 44 and 46 degree, which accounts for its arctic climte providing it abundant ice and snow，so Harbin is named “The Ice City” ,and also recognized as the cradle of ice amd snow art for its exquisite、 artistic ice and snow sculpures.Harbin International Ice and snow Festival is the best beloved part of Harbin for the tourist each year , it started in 1985 and lasts for one month each session,is the longest similar festival in the world. It has only the opening ceremony held on January 5 every year, but without the closing ceremony. During this period, it crosses three traditional festivals : The New Year’s day, The Lunar New Year‘s Day , The Lantern Festival and it contains three main activities: Harbin International Snow Sculpture Art Expo ,Harbin Ice and Snow World ,Harbin Ice Lantern Festival，their three main venue individually is The Sun Island ,The Ice and Snow World Park ,The Zhaolin Park ,this Expo can attract hundreds of thousands of local people and visitors from all over the world every year .
The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Art Expol is known as”the largest ice and snow Carnival in the world”.With the theme of”peace,friendship, development”,the Snow Expol creates a”big,strange,beautiful ,refined” snow garden landscape.During this perid,many wonderful activities such as the college students snow sculpture match, the crafumen snow sculpture match,snow kite-flying match, etc. will be held.These items are fit to be enjoyed in the day time.
The Ice and Snow World are mainly based on those ice sculpture items such as 350 -meter ice slide that has set up a new Guiness world record, ice peacock slide,ice castle etc ,these large-sized ice scupltures are full of adventure and fun, and with the sense of interaction and participation ,especially in the night ,under the illumination of colored lights, these grand sculptures appear crystal clear and a riot of colours.
Ice lantern is an art form made of ice and snow ,it is the general term of ice and snow art modeling and lighting effect ,lantern-making has a long history in Harbin,in nothest China in winter time ,at first,people made lanterns and put them outside their houses or gave them to children to play with during some of traditional festivals, frozen ice lantern and carving ice lanten ,such as longevity lantern、 lotus lantern 、lion lantern,all are primitive ice lantern carved from natural ice.And today,craft and skill of making ice lantern has greatly improved.In Zhaolin park,with new tools and advanced technical means,skilled craftmen can creat various marval、delicate 、artistic and even with technical content ice lanterns on display.
Ice flowers are ice and snow works of art that freeze flowers, green bamboo, fruits and fish in a certain volume and different shapes of ice.
The ice bonsai is carved with ice in imitation of the landscape bonsai. There are rocks, cliffs, stone forests and other ever-changing scenery of mountains and rivers.
Ice scenery, also known as crystal ice art, is based on mountains, trees or river beds. According to the needs, wooden poles are used to build shelves, which are tied with straw curtains, straw ropes and branches. In the freezing climate of minus 20 degrees Celsius, spray with clear water. The lower one is to be watered with a tap, and the higher one is to use a fire brigade ladder. In this way, it can be poured into icebergs, snow falls and caves.
During the ice and snow festival, winter swmming match,ice hocky match,snowfootball match,alpine skiing Invitational match,international ice sculpture match,icespeed skating match,ice and snow poetry meeting,ice and snow photography exhibition,book exhibition,ice and snow film art festival,ice wedding,etc.will be held.
Today，Harbin Ice Festival is not only an exposition of ice and snow art，but also an annual cultural event for international exchange. Every year，there are many ice sculpture experts，artists and fans from America，Canada，Japan，Singapore，Russia，etc. gathering in Harbin to participate ice sculpting competitions and to exchange with each other in the ice and snow world. Furthermore，the festival brings with it a new theme，providing visitors with a totally unique experience from one year to the next.
Understandably，the best time to travel to Harbin is during the winter ，and for those who dream of a proper winter experience，Harbin Ice and Snow is just the chance to make their dreams become a reality.