Jaw-Dropping Photos of China’s Harbin Ice Festival

The Eye
Slate’s design blog.
Jan. 6 2014 12:35 PM

Check Out These Stunning Photos of China’s Latest Metropolis—Before It Melts

China's hottest new city is made of ice.

Courtesy of Access China Travel

In early November, some 7,000 intrepid workers began a blizzard of building in the Heilongjiang province, a frigid corner of northeast China, to create an over-the-top 6.5 million square foot landscape of frozen, LED-illuminated structures for the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, which officially opened yesterday.

China's Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival kicked off its 30th annual edition yesterday.

Courtesy of China Access Travel

Siberian winds blow across Harbin, the coldest city in China, with winter temperatures dropping as low as -36 F. This year marks the 30th edition of the festival, the largest of its kind in the world. It will offer an expected 1 million visitors the chance to wander through a frigid winter wonderland cut from 180,000 cubic meters of ice chunks pulled from the nearby Songhua River as well as 150,000 cubic meters of man-made snow.

A larger-than-life snow sculpture at the International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in Harbin, China.

Courtesy of Access China Travel

This year’s festival includes replicas of the Roman Colosseum and the Empire State Building, and a 150-foot-tall icy reproduction of the Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik, Iceland.

A tribute to the Roman Colosseum at this year's Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in China.

Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images


It also features a 787-foot ice slide, ice structures you can walk through, and a reproduction of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s enormous floating Rubber Duck.

Visitors pose with a snow-based tribute to Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's enormous rubber duck sculpture at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.

Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

The festival runs until the end of February, global warming permitting.

A surreal ice city in Harbin, China.

Courtesy of Access China Travel

Check out this quick video for scenes from the festival:



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM The Global Millionaires Club Is Booming and Losing Its Exclusivity
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Right of Free Speech
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.