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Ice Lantern Garden Party, Harbin
Ice Lantern Garden Party
The Ice Lantern Garden Party in Harbin City is the earliest and biggest artistic exhibition of the ice lantern in the open air in the world covering an area of 6.5 hectare (about 16 acres) and the quantity of used ice is about 2,000 stere (about 71000 cubic feet). It is listed as one of the 35 national 'absolutely rare and wonderfully beautiful' scenic spots by National Tourist Office. The Party was initiated in 1963 and from then on it has been held every winter in Zhaolin Park, which shows about 1,500 pieces of traditional ice lanterns. It is considered as a beautiful name card to Harbin City.

The Ice Lantern Garden Party is an outstanding achievement of local people, who exploit and utilize the local resources of ice and snow. The craftsmen in that city use the ice from Songhua River to create the omniform artworks of ice sculptures. All the artworks take on a grand verve and bewitching view.

The craftsmen there were inspired by Chinese ancient ice lantern to create the wonderful artworks excelling nature. Legend has it that long ago when night came in winter, several people would be leisurely grooming or fishing on Songnen Plain located in northeastern provinces including Harbin. They used the ancient ice lantern for lighting. The craftwork of ice lantern at that time was simple, and it was made like this: put water from Songhua River into the cask to be frozen into an icicle, and then cut a hole in the heart of the icicle to allow an oil lamp put in. Hence the ice lantern was made. It helped a lot in people's life at that time. Subsequently every time when Spring Festival and Lantern Festival came, people were delighted to decorate these ice lanterns to celebrate the festivals. Now it has evolved into a local traditional festival in that city called Harbin Ice Festival held on January 5th every year. Throughout Harbin Ice Festival during the period of the Ice Lantern Garden Party, tourists can take part in the international physical movements in Songhua River such as: sitting on the ice sailing boat, hitting the ice monkeys, seeing the wedding on the ice, skating on the ice and watching the competition of winter swimming. When night falls, you are expected to attend the evening party of Harbin Ice Festival. There you can see wonderful performances and also join in it. That is really nice!

Nowadays the ice lanterns have become the pride of local people. The art of ice lantern making has reached maturity. It is a unique art exhibition of ice and snow which gathers multiple subjects such as gardening, architecture, sculpture, theatrics, Chinese painting, Chinese literature and Chinese music, which causes great influence both at home and abroad. Meanwhile, modern science and technology of optics, mechanics and acoustics are applied to show us the multicolored and exquisitely carved ice lanterns. The ice artworks include the ice architecture, the ice sculpture, the ice waterfall, the ice parterre, the ice sliding board, the ice Chinese calligraphy, the ice miniascape, the ice advertisement and of course the ice lantern. So many different artworks are strewn at random around the Ice Lantern Garden Party to create a perfect world of ice and snow.

During the period of the party a competition of ice carvings will be held in Zhaolin Park. The craftsmen from America, Japan, Singapore, Canada, Russia and altogether more than 10 countries will be invited to join in the competition with the enthusiasts all over China in purpose of interchanging their craft of ice carvings. It is a party for friendship more than a party of competition. So we say the party is the cradle to the craftsman of ice carvings.

Up till now, a total of 33 sessions of Ice Lantern Garden Party have been successfully held. The accumulative total of guests from both home and abroad is more than 30,000,000. It has already created 7 items of Guinness World Records and made great contribution to this well-known tour city. So it is worthy for you to come for a visit.

Admission Fee: CNY 200 per adult 
CNY 80 for student with the student ID card
CNY 100 for the elderly over 60 years old with a valid proof
Free for the elderly over 70 years old with a valid proof
Free for children under 1.4 m in height
The Time to Visit: December 20 to the end of February
Bus Route: Bus 8, 53, 74, 83, 113, 114, 201, 206 to Zhaolin Park
 Harbin Bus Search