These Photos From the World's Largest Ice Festival Are Absolutely Stunning
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.
“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.
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.
“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.