China's fairytale theatre of ice sculptures
If all the world's a stage all the buildings of the world are players in it. From Rome's Colosseum to New York City's Empire State Building and China's own Great Wall, they are all present in miniature at the Grand Ice and Snow World during the 30th Harbin International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival currently underway in northeastern China.
It took 7,000 artists to create this sprawling 6,458,400 square feet of winter wonderland in Harbin, China's tenth most populous city in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, where winter temperatures drop to a low of -40 degrees Celsius. Countless blocks of crystal ice were cut from the frozen Songhua River and transported to the site of the festival, where sub-zero temperatures kept them from melting, and will do so until mid-February when winter wanes and marks the end of the festival.
While the ice metropolis is charming by day, it comes vibrantly alive at night when the LED lamps installed at the core of their structures are switched on. The festival opened on January 5.