China's great city of ice and snow...
Harbin is renowned nowadays for its annual Ice and Snow Festival with huge sculptures and buildings made from snow and ice along with amusement and entertainment. The festival has grown into a huge event with artists from many countries participating, except for this year unfortunately due to COVID19 measures. Nonetheless, the 36th festival has opened since last week and will continue well into February.
The Festival find its origin back in 1963 when first ice lantern shows were organized in Harbin. Ice lanterns have traditionally been made since old times by fishermen for their night fishing at Songhua river. In 1985, the event became official with an annual show of ice lanterns and sculptures in Zhaolin Park. Since then it has grown into a huge festival.
The festival is not the only mark of Harbin ice city. Ice swimming and spin topping, annual mid-winter group weddings on ice and various other ‘icy and snowy’ activities are common traditions in Harbin.
Harbin is also known in China for its technical universities with the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) leading. Many students from all corners of China spend their student years far north in this wonderful city.