Jaw-Dropping Photos of China’s Harbin Ice Festival

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

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

140106_EYE_2
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.

140106_EYE_3
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.

140106_EYE_9
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.

460791021
A tribute to the Roman Colosseum at this year's Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in China.

Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Advertisement

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.

460875785
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.

140106_EYE_1
A surreal ice city in Harbin, China.

Courtesy of Access China Travel

Check out this quick video for scenes from the festival:

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Why Time Is on Our Side in the Fight Against Ebola

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Catacombs Where You Can Stroll Down Hallways Lined With Corpses

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The U.S. Has a New Problem in Syria: The Moderate Rebels Feel Like We’ve Betrayed Them

We Need to Talk: A Terrible Name for a Good Sports Show by and About Women

Trending News Channel
Oct. 1 2014 1:25 PM Japanese Cheerleader Robots Balance and Roll Around on Balls
  News & Politics
Crime
Oct. 1 2014 4:15 PM The Trials of White Boy Rick A Detroit crime legend, the FBI, and the ugliness of the war on drugs.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 1 2014 4:55 PM Blood Before Bud? Must a gentleman’s brother always be the best man at his wedding?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 3:02 PM The Best Show of the Summer Is Getting a Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 4:46 PM Ebola Is No Measles. That’s a Good Thing. Comparing this virus to scourges of the past gives us hope that we can slow it down.
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.