Building frozen castles at China’s Harbin Ice Festival


The 37th Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in China has opened to visitors, featuring frozen towers, palaces and castles.

The festival in Harbin, a city in China’s north-east Heilongjiang province, is one of the biggest of its kind.

It features towering ice and snow structures, and will host activities like sledging, ice hockey, ice football, speed skating and Alpine skiing competitions.

With entry to China restricted because of the coronavirus pandemic, domestic tourists are expected to make up the majority of visitors.

In December, about 300 “ice miners”, many of whom are construction labourers and farmers, built the festival’s towering ice structures.

To build the frozen city, tens of thousands of ice blocks were prised out of the kilometre-wide frozen river Songhua, which winds its way through Harbin.

The blocks were then moved by truck to the festival venue, where they were used to build life-sized castles, pagodas, bridges and even a functioning hotpot restaurant

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