In Harbin, the capital of the northernmost province of China, takes place every winter on Ice Palaces Festival. Starting in January, the city welcomes the works of professional or amateur architects and sculptors from all over the state and from other countries. For more than three months, the town collaborates with the participants to transform the central plaza of Zhaolin on the stage of a fairy tale.
In the month of December, the work of extracting large blocks of ice from the river usually begins. Shongua. Construction workers, peasants, volunteers and curious people indulge in this hard task so that the expert hands of the contestants sculpt the petrified water as if it were mud.
Tens of thousands of visitors from around the world come to Harbin every year to admire these monumental sculptures, as well as the thousands of smaller jobs scattered throughout the city. A jury is responsible, from the first day, to evaluate the works and award the awardsAlthough the majority of sculptors who participate in this event do so simply out of hobby.
This tradition dates back centuries, although it was from 1963 that the custom of awarding a cash prize to the most beautiful works began.
The arrival of the night turns the city into a show amazing. Hundreds of neon lights merge with the beautiful transparency of the ice, making Harbin a true city of fantasy.
After this experience, a visit to the rest of the city allows you to admire the influence Russian in the zone. There stands a church orthodox as the greatest exponent in all of Asia of this religion. The influence of the neighboring country can also be seen in the souvenirs, where you can buy typical products like vodka.
China's Ice City Harbin 2019 (January 2022)