Frigid northern China hosts snow and ice sculpture festival In this Jan. 3, 2017, photo, released by Xinhua News Agency, contestants carve ice sculptures during an international ice sculpture contest as part of the Harbin Ice and Snow festival in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. (Wang Jianwei/Xinhua via AP/Chinatopix via AP)
Frigid northern China hosts snow and ice sculpture festival

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The city of Harbin in China's frigid northeast is hosting one of the world's largest festivals. It features ice sculptures. These include likenesses of animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks.
Last year, the festival drew more than a million visitors. It showcases the region's tradition of snow and ice carvings, as well as ice swimming in the Songhua River. Harbin's temperatures can fall to minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit.
Harbin's best ice and snow carvers have been busy putting the finishing touches to their sculptures. They are based on big chunks of ice. These are dragged out of the nearby river and carved. They are brushed and lit up.
The sculptures range from animals and cartoon characters to replicas of famous world monuments and landscapes. There also is a 1,115-feet-long slide. State media say it took around 500 builders to complete.
Lu Fu was helping to finish a giant ice castle in Harbin. He was brushing it with a small rake.
"I feel happy. Especially after completion, I feel so excited when looking at the ice wall with lights on in the distance," said Lu. He has been carving ice for more than 20 years. "Ice building is the pride of Harbin people."

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Why is ice building a source of pride for the people of Harbin?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • codyp-kul
    1/09/2017 - 11:44 a.m.

    I can not believe that many people come to just look at ice. I do think it is really cool that they built a slide. I would love to slide down it. I do not know how it took that amount of people. I think it would have taken more.

    • rileyn-kul
      1/10/2017 - 11:52 a.m.

      I feel like it is very very inefficient and ineffective to spend countless days of our already short lives chipping ice. Perhaps those people should go to their jobs rather than chipping ice.

      • codyp-kul
        1/12/2017 - 11:34 a.m.

        Oh Riley. It's not the point that they are chipping ice away to waste time. It is probably their job. They are artists they do this for a living most likely.

      • danielb-kul
        1/13/2017 - 11:39 a.m.

        I am with Cody on this one Nelly. Most people that are doing this do it as a living and probably get paid a lot just to do this.

      • dylann-kul
        1/13/2017 - 12:46 p.m.

        I agree with Riley Nehlich. We have short lives and we need to live them to the fullest. Chipping ice away off of a block seems like a bad way to take advantage of your lives.

    • eduardov-kul
      1/10/2017 - 12:59 p.m.

      I agree because the sculptures are really cool and a lot of people go to see them. I also want to slide down from it.

    • coltonw-kul
      1/13/2017 - 12:39 p.m.

      But, don't you think it looks amazing? And when you see that many people at one place for one thing, it's just amazing! I also like being around a lot of people, so that could just be me.

    • brookeg-kul
      1/13/2017 - 04:42 p.m.

      I also think that it is really cool that they built a slide and I think it wouldn’t be safe to go down but it would be fun.

  • jacoba-kul
    1/09/2017 - 12:10 p.m.

    I didn’t think they would be doing that. They have a lot to worry about with the smog that is destroying things there. I still have to give them props for some of those sculptures. They have some really nice ones. There are some that are designed after buildings.

    • luisa-kul
      1/10/2017 - 01:00 p.m.

      I agree with Jacob, in this times they should have cared more about the contamination problems instead of making a ice sculpture festival. But to be honest they have really cool sculptures.

  • monicas-ste
    1/09/2017 - 01:04 p.m.

    This is so awesome. I love this. That looks pretty amazing.

  • macy-kul
    1/09/2017 - 01:06 p.m.

    I'm surprised that last year there were over a million visitors. It seems that these ice sculptures are a great way to represent the culture and tradition of the region. I wonder how much time goes into making these sculptures and preparing for this festival to perfectly represent the region.

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