City of Ice:
Harbin is a well-known city from the Chinese province of Heilongjiang. It is called the ‘City of Ice’. Harbin has a rigid winter which lasts for about six months. The temperature here falls below zero degrees, the rivers freeze and the surrounding is converted into ice blocks and snows capes. These ice blocks are carved into lanterns and beautiful castles. The exhibition demonstrating such beautiful structures is called as the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. This festival was originated in 1963 and is held every year in the month of January.
Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival:
It one of the four largest ice and snow festival in the world. It held from January 5th to February 5th every year. The ice blocks are cut, chiselled and shaped into beautiful monuments which is a classic demonstration of art. Three venues are booked for this show namely, the Ice and Snow world, Zhaolin Park, Sun Island Scenic Area. The Sun island Scenic arena demonstrates sculptures which can only be visualized during the daytime. The Ice and Snow world is located in the suburbs and gives a mesmerizing display of huge monuments and sculpture which can be seen both during daytime and night time. Zhaolin Park has sculptures like ice lanterns, ice slides etc. and art forms that are children’s favourite.
Ice Lantern Show:
The Ice lantern show is the highlight of the Ice festival held in Harbin. The Ice Lantern show takes place in the Zhaolin Park since 1963. This show has been known by various names like Harbin Ice Lantern Garden Party, Harbin Ice Lantern Art fair and Harbin Ice Lantern Artistic Show. The ice blocks are cut and shaped into ice lanterns ad shapes of various animals and sculptures. Originally, the ice lantern structures created were simple and rigid. They were used by fishermen for the sake of lighting while fishing on the Songhua River. It was also used as a decoration outside the gates. With time, these structures were accepted as art forms and were demonstrated for people’s entertainment. With time it turned into a huge festival. Thus to promote and develop this legacy of ice sculptures, the government started the Ice Lantern Show from 1963 in the Zhaolin park. Since then, it has become the main highlight of the Ice and Snow Sculpture festival.
Visitors and Participants:
In its initial days, these sculptures were confined to only the Chinese. These were carved by the Chinese artists ant the visitors were also mostly Chinese. But with time, this festival received world-wide fame and participants and visitors from all over the world took part in this festival. It has received an international fame with the help of the global media.
Neon and LED lights:
Within the sculptures, there placed are the neon and LED lights, which lit the sculptures during night time. The colourful lights used give the sculptures a gorgeous look. It thus a mesmerizing demonstration for the visitors.
Thus one should not miss seeing these fine pieces of art and have a month-long weekend in China.