Chinese Ice Festival: Ice City Open to Visitors – BBC News in Serbian

The 37th Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in China opened for visitors, featuring frozen towers, palaces and castles.

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The festival in Harbin, a city in the Chinese northeastern province of Heilongjiang, is one of the largest of its kind.

High ice and snow facilities are presented on it, and activities such as sledding, ice hockey, ice football, speed skating and alpine skiing will be organized.

Most visitors are expected to be domestic tourists, due to measures to restrict movement due to the pandemic.


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The festival was first organized in 1963, and was interrupted during Chinese Cultural Revolutions, to be continued in 1985.

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Workers build ice structures at the site of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival
Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

Workers smoke while constructing ice structures at the site of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival
Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

Workers on scaffolding build an ice structure at the site of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival
Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

To build the ice city, tens of thousands of ice blocks were pulled from a kilometer-long frozen Songhua River, which winds through Harbin.

A worker stands on a block of ice block while breaking it into smaller pieces to be used at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, at the frozen Songhua River in Harbin
Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

The blocks were then moved by truck to the festival site, where they were used to build life-size castles, pagodas, bridges, and even a functional restaurant.

Workers use ice picks to break up blocks of ice
Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

Wang Xiusheng, who was pulling out ice blocks, told Reuters why they should have used ice from the river: “Artificial ice is not so thick and not strong enough to stand in the wind.”

Workers wore knee-high rubber boots, jackets, thick gloves and hats to protect their ears from freezing.

A worker carries a block of ice while building an ice structure
Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

“We get to the ice every day at six in the morning,” Zhang Wei told Reuters.

“Sometimes we have to work overtime, until 8 or 9 pm, even late after midnight.

Ice blocks are laid on top of each other to build walls.

Workers place an ice block onto an ice structure
Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

Workers then shaped, trimmed and cut them to measure with chainsaws, forks and chisels.

A worker carries a chainsaw while constructing an ice structure
Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

A worker uses a chainsaw to carve a block of ice
Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

During work, workers ate a bowl of hot noodles, dumplings or steamed buns for lunch – in makeshift canteens made of wooden poles and plastic sheets.

Workers eat lunch inside a makeshift canteen
Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

The complex ice structures are illuminated in a beautiful range of colors at night.


Workers build ice structures at night
Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

The festival is open until February 25, 2021.

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