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Harbin Ice Festival

By Lydia, January 2013

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Every winter since the 1980, the frigid city of Harbin in northern China has hosted one of the world’s most visually stunning holiday displays, the Harbin Ice Festival. A far cry from the ice swans you might see at hotel buffets, ice artists in Harbin erect an entire ice city aptly named Ice and Snow World, complete with life-sized palaces, pagodas, footbridges, a maze an ice bar and an ice hotel, all lit up from within with colored lights. Nightly fireworks displays, theater, song and dance performances give guests even more to look at.

It’s hard to believe when you see it today, but the spectacle that is the Ice Festival comes from humble beginnings. Beginning in the Qing Dynasty, Harbin residents used to freeze water in buckets and hollow out the middle of the resulting ice chunks to create wind-proof lanterns for use outdoors during the frigid winter months.

Editor’s Note: This recommendation was taken from our China Things to Do blog. Visit the original post to continue reading the full post and to learn more about things to do in China.

Photo courtesy of via docsdl via Flickr

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