Winter isn't all bad.

By Jess McHugh
January 05, 2018
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In Harbin, the northernmost region of China, winters can be brutal but the residents chase away gloom with an annual winter sculpture festival.

The festival recreates famous landmarks from around the world and decks them out with intricate lighting.

Tao Zhang/Getty Images

“It’s quite surreal, due to both the scale and all the lighting—like being in a fantasy movie,” Christian Stanley of the China Travel Company, told National Geographic. New additions to this year's festival include Moscow's Red Square and Bangkok's Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

Tao Zhang/Getty Images
Tao Zhang/Getty Images

The festival includes some 2,000 ice sculptures carved from 240,000 cubic yards of ice collected from the Songhua River, the Associated Press reported. The once regional celebration has expanded to attract international visitors, and last year's festival welcomed 18 million visitors and generated about $4.4 billion in tourist revenue, according to the AP.

Tao Zhang/Getty Images
Tao Zhang/Getty Images

“Art has no borders,” ice sculpture artist Han Zhenkun told AP. “It's an abstract language. We communicate with our works in this international competition. It means a lot.”

Harbin Ice Festival continues until February 28.