China’s Incredible Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

Okay, so most of us know about igloos and some of us will have heard of the ice hotels in both Norway and Canada. However the Chinese seem to have gone more than just a little step further with their creations for the 30th Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, a city in the Northern region of China situated not far from the border of the Siberian region of Russia. Now this isn’t just a little seasonal theme park with a couple of kiosks and a house made of ice, as we discovered from an article in the Daily Mail newspaper. This is almost like something from Disneyland centered on a magnificent and almost fairy-tale-like 26 metre high ice castle which is utterly breathtaking in both its size and beauty. However the statistics that go along with the creation for this festival are just as gobsmacking!
To begin with, over 10,000 people were employed to create the magnificent castle, surrounding buildings and stunning snow sculptures. Over 180,000 cubic meters of ice were used, much of it hewn out of the frozen Songhua River in 550lb blocks that were manually dragged to the site. Curiously, once in place, the blocks were ‘cemented’ together with cold water that would freeze on contact with the ice blocks. Not only was there a traditional style of construction work going on, but workers were employed to polish much of the ice to give it a crystal-like appearance. Perhaps some of the most stunning work carried out on the site was the creation of many beautiful and detailed snow sculptures that put even the best family-made snowman to shame! We’re not sure about you, but we feel this is just the most amazing place and one we would love to visit.

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