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Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
 Harbin Ice Festival Tour: 4 Days

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival provides the visitors each year a whole new world of ice and snow. The 33rd session will be held from January 5, 2017 to March 2017. The best collections of ice artworks were exhibited in the following five main places:
Ice and Snow World
Ice Lantern Garden Party
Sun Island Scenic Area
Yabuli International Ski Resort
Zhaolin Park

The Festival, established in 1985, is held annually from January 5 and lasts for over one month. Harbin is the capital city of Heilongjiang Province and this is China's original and greatest ice artwork festival, attracting hundreds of thousands of local people and visitors from all over the world.

The city's location in northeast China accounts for its arctic climate which provides abundant natural ice and snow. Subsequently, the 'Ice City' of Harbin is recognized as the cradle of ice and snow art in China and is famous for its exquisite and artistic ice and snow sculptures. The fabulous Ice Lantern Festival is the forerunner of the Ice and Snow Festival and is still the best loved part of the overall event in the opinion of all who go to that city each year.

The Derivation of the Ice Lantern

Ice and snow sculptures
Ice sculptures
The first Ice lanterns were a winter-time tradition in northeast China. During the Qing Dynasty(1644 - 1911), the local peasants and fishermen often made and used ice lanterns as jack-lights during the winter months. At that time these were made simply by pouring water into a bucket that was then put out in the open to freeze. It was then gently warmed before the water froze completely so that the bucket-shaped ice could be pulled out. A hole was chiseled in the top and the water remaining inside poured out creating a hollow vessel. A candle was then placed inside resulting in a windproof lantern that gained great popularity in the region around the city.

From then on, people made ice lanterns and put them outside their houses or gave them to children to play with during some of the traditional festivals. Thus the ice lantern began its long history of development. With novel changes and immense advancement in techniques, today we can marvel at the various delicate and artistic ice lanterns on display.

Today's Ice Lantern
Nowadays, ice lantern in broad sense refers to a series of plastic arts using ice and snow as raw material combining ice artworks with colored lights and splendid music. The specific patterns of ice lantern include sculptures, ice flowers, ice architectures and so on.

The Sun Island Park is the site of the Snow Sculpture Exposition displaying a wonderful snow world. It has the world's largest indoor ice and snow art museum and it opens to the public from November every year.

Ice and Snow World came into being in 1999 and is one of the world's largest ice architecture parks. The inspiration for the ice and snow sculptures there usually is derived from traditional Chinese fairy tales or world famous architectures such as the Great Wall, the Egyptian Pyramids, etc.

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
Ice and Snow Festival in Zhaolin Park
Zhaolin Park is a 'must see' during the Ice and Snow Festival because it has a traditional program that shows the most excellent ice lanterns. With water, lights and the natural ice from the Songhua River running through this city as the material, the ice lanterns are made by freezing water, piling up ice or snow, then carving, enchasing, decorating, etc. The ice lantern park touring activities have been held here annually since 1963 and is said to be one of the most wonderful 35 tourist attractions in China. There are numerous pieces of ice artworks in the park arranged in groups according to different themes depicting Chinese classic masterworks, European folktales and customs and so on. A great variety of objects such as buildings, gardens, flowers, waterfalls, European-styled churches, lions, tigers, dragons are carved from ice. In the daytime, the ice sculptures are magnificent and verisimilitude. Moreover, with the interspersion of the sparkling colored lights embedded in the sculptures at night, the park becomes a glorious and amazing ice world.

Today, the Ice and Snow Festival is not only an exposition of ice and snow art, but also an annual cultural event for international exchange. Every year, there are many ice sculpture experts, artists and fans from America, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Russia, China, etc. gathering in this city to participate ice sculpting competitions and to communicate with each other in the ice and snow world. Also, Harbin ice lanterns have been exhibited in most of China's main cities as well as in many countries in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and Oceania. For more than 40 years, the city's local natural resource of ice and snow has been fully explored to provide joy and fun for visitors to the city. Now during the festival, many sporting competitions are also popular including ice-skating, sledding and so on. Weddings, parties and other entertainments are now very much a feature of this ice world, adding their own contribution to the celebrations of this great festival of art, culture, sports and tourism.

Admission Fee: Sun Island Park 
(Snow Sculpture Art Exposition)
Ice and Snow World Zhaolin Park
(Ice Lantern Garden Party )

CNY 240 for adults
CNY120 for children between 3.9 and 4.6 feet (1.2-1.4 meters)
Free of charge for children under 3.9 feet (1.2 meters)

At other time: CNY 30 (just admission fee)

CNY 330 for adults during New Year's Day, Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival
CNY 300 for adults in normal days except the above three festivals
CNY 160 for children above 1.2 meters (3.9 feet)
CNY 160 for seniors between 60 and 70 with a valid proof
Free for seniors above 70 years old with a valid proof and children under 3.9 feet (1.2 meters)

CNY60 per adult

Free for children under 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) in height

Opening Time: from Jan. 5th to the early Mar., 2017 from Dec. 22, 2016 to Mar., 2017 from Jan. 5th to the early Mar., 2017
Operating Hours: Dec. 22 to 31, 2015: 08:00-17:00
Jan. 1 to the early Mar., 2016: 08:00-20:00
11:00-21:30 10:00-21:00
Transportation: By Bus:
Take bus no. tourism bus line 1, 29, 80, 88, 119, 125, 126, 211, 212, 213, 215, 216, 219, 346, 551 or 552, and get off at Sun Island Crossing Station.

By Ferry:
Take a ferry from Flood Control Memorial Tower Wharf, Jiuzhan Wharf or Daowai Qidao Wharf.
By Bus:
Take bus no. 29, 47, 80, 88, 119, 125, 126, 127, 211, 212, 213, 215, 216, 219, 223, 225, 226, 346, 396, 551, or 552 to the Ice and Snow World directly.
By Bus:
Take bus no. 53, 113 or 114, and get off at Zhaolin Park Station.

Take bus no. 8, 23, 83, 201 or 206, get off at Zhaolin Park (Diduan Road) Station.

 Harbin Bus Search

 The 33rd Ice and Snow Festival Highlights (2017)
It will start from January 5 to March 2017, covering three important Chinese festivals – New Year's Day, Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival. Based on the theme of “Bright Pearl of the Crown of Ice and Snow”, a variety of activities about ice and snow, concerning tourism, culture, fashion, the economy and trade and sports, will welcome all tourists. People can enjoy beautiful ice sculptures and snow arts in the Sun Island Scenic Area, Ice and Snow World, Zhaolin Park and Central Street. In addition, St. Sophia Church, Harbin Polarland and Songhua River are also worth a visit during the festival.

☆ 2016 activities schedule for your reference:
Type Activity Time Place
Art The 22nd National Snow Sculpture Competition Dec. 22rd~25th, 2015 Sun Island Snow Expo
The 8th International College Students Snow Sculpture Competition – Inspiration Snow Dream Jan. 4th~7th, 2016 Harbin Engineering University
The 30th International Ice Sculpture Competition Jan. 6th~8th, 2016 Zhaolin Park
Culture The 32nd Group Wedding Ceremony on the Ice Jan. 5th, 2016 Zhaolin Park
The 27th Hundred-Flower Dance Contest of senior people Jan. 13, 2016 People’s Stadium
2016 New Year Concert Dec. 31, 2015 City Concert Hall
Tourism The 28th Sun Island Snow Sculpture Art Exposition Dec. 22nd, 2015 for trail operation and officially opening on Jan. 5th, 2016 till the early Mar., 2016 Sun Island Scenic Area
The 21th International Snow Sculpture Competition Jan. 10th to 13th, 2016 Sun Island Scenic Area
The 4th China and Russia Snow Sculpture Dual Meet Around late Jan. 2016 Sun Island Snow Expo
The 42st Ice Lantern Garden Party and the opening ceremony Dec. 22nd, 2015 for trail operation and officially opening on Jan. 5th, 2016 till early Mar., 2016 Zhaolin Park
The 6th Ice & Snow Happy Valley Early Dec. 22nd, 2015 for trail operation and officially opening on Jan. 5th, 2016 till early Mar., 2016 along the Songhua River (Jingjie to Jiuzhan)
Economy & Trade 2016 Cold Zone Exposition Jan. 5th~8th, 2016 International Convention & Exhibition Center
International Covenant of Ice and Snow Jan. 6, 2016 Friendship Palace
Sports International Ice Hockey Invitational Competition Jan. 2016 Ice Hockey Gym
The 9th International Friendship Cities Badminton Invitational Competition Jan. 2016 Ice Training Base
International Winter Swimming Invitational Competition Jan. 5th and 6th, 2016 Jiuzhan Park
Shuttlecock Invitational Competition

Jan. 2016

Ice Training Base
International Friendship Cities Tae Kwon Do Invitational Competition Jan. 2016 People’s Stadium
Winter Fishing Open Competition Jan. 2016 Dingxiang Island
National Ice Hockey League Jan. 2016 Ice Hockey Gym
National Cross-country Skiing Championship Feb. 2016 Wujimi Ski Resort
National Alpine Skiing Championship Mar. 2016 Wujimi Ski Resort