Ice and snow festival opens in China

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival kicks off January 5, 2014 in northern China Celebrating its 30th anniversary. Festival gets more extravagant each year. This frosty wonderland in northern China features crazy sculptures made from massive ice blocks and illuminated with colorful LED lights. The result is an exhibition of extravagant castles, a Colosseum and Empire State Building, all made with ice blocks from the frozen Songhua River. Sculptors have been carving away with ice picks, chisels and lasers for the last two weeks in preparation.

This year’s festival features a replica of iceland’s Hallgrimskirkja church with a 240 meter slide that visitors can slide down. According to organizers, the structure is the tallest ice sculpture in China (46 meters) and was made with 12,000 meters of ice.

Visitors can skate on ice rinks and snowboard. Apart from replicas, the North Korea Pyongyang National Acrobatic Troupe will perform in the festival. Last two years 28.5 million visitors combined in the festival as it is China’s most popular winter attraction.

To combat Harbin's subzero temperatures, organizers have set up 13 hot beverage stations around the park and provide ginger tea at its concierge hall. The festival is open until March 2014. And it’s Depending on weather conditions.