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Saturday, 4 January 2014

Ice festival builds frozen cityscape in north-east China

Artists and workers make their final touches to monolithic ice sculptures on Saturday ahead of an annual international ice festival in Harbin, north-east China. This year's festival has been constructed on a larger scale than last year to mark the event's 30th anniversary. With sculptors and labourers working around the clock, organisers claim they used over 180,000 square metres of ice and 150,000 square metres of snow.

Outstanding! Really!

  •                                       Source: Reuters
  • Length: 1min 43sec
  • Saturday 4 January 2014

In these stunning photographs the festival's amazing sculptures are seen illuminated from the inside after night has fallen - with visitors meandering in between the impressive works. 
Those who attend the event can navigate the ice cities on foot or via the festival's horse and carriage rides. As well as walking around and marvelling in awe at the colourful creations, they can also zip down snowy slides or climb up the staircases of ice castles and investigate what's inside. 
The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is one of the world's top ice festivals.

Ice to see you, to see you ice! The scultpures are illuminated from the inside with complex, computer-controlled LED systems

It was suspended for some time during the Cultural Revolution, then it started up again - finally, in 1999, the city government started the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival.
At first its clientele was mainly Chinese, but in the last few years it has become an international festival and competition attracting people from all over the world. 
The growth of the festival has been in tandem with the continued growth of China's economy, which in turn has contributed to the magnitude of the snow sculptures and ice architecture.

How did they do that? This impressive skyline was made from blocks of ice measuring up to three feet wide
Last year, tens of thousands of people laboured on the displays, which include world record-sized snow sculptures - some longer than two football fields, while other monuments measure up to 50 metres tall (160ft high).
They all use technologically sophisticated equipment with computer controlled LED and regular lighting creating the stunning displays of colour seen in all of these photos. 
Of course, with such rapid growth this year's event is touted as being one of the biggest so far.

Slippery slope: Visitors are dwarfed by the giant ice architecture

From the Guardin and the Daily Mail online

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