Now in its 30th year, the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is probably the largest ever (and at $50 admission rather expensive – but that doesn’t keep the visitors away – 28.5 million people came in the last two years).
Opening on Sunday (January 5), this Chinese winter wonderland is a sculptural world made from massive blocks of ice from the frozen Songhua River, illuminated with a rainbow of LED lights. It is China’s best known and most popular winter attraction, displaying models of people, animals, mythical creatures and buildings from all over the world including the Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik in Iceland with a 240 m slide for visitors to slide down. According to organizers, the 46 m high model is the tallest ice sculpture in China and was made with 12,000 sq m of ice. Also included are statues of the mascots for the 2014 World Cup in Rio. There are also skating rinks, mazes, musical events and much-needed hot drink stands!