Tuesday, January 08, 2008
A Festival of Snow and Ice
The temperature in Harbin, China, reaches forty below zero, both Fahrenheit and centigrade, and stays below freezing nearly half the year. The city is actually further north than notoriously cold Vladivostok, Russia, just 300 miles away. So what does one do here every winter? Hold an outdoor festival, of course! Rather than suffer the cold, the residents of Harbin celebrate it, with an annual festival of snow and ice sculptures and competitions.
Above we have an overview of the ice festival from atop the Great Wall of ice. It's like a Disney theme park, with multiple attractions and food hawkers and kids running around and people lined up for bathrooms. The only differences are that the temperature is about a hundred degrees colder than the typical Disney park, and all the structures are made out of ice rather than plastic - and slipping and falling here doesn't result in tremendous lawsuits.