Icy Fantasy World
January 5, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province: Tourists visit illuminated ice sculptures at the Ice and Snow World. The 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival (HIISF) kicked off that day. It lasts until end of February, when the ice generally begins to melt.
This year Harbin introduced seven categories of winter tourism products, and some 100 ice and snow-themed activities to improve the festival for visitors. Activities include 16 professional and 44 non-professional ice and snow sports events, 13 ice and snow tourism activities targeting students and 30 themed art and cultural activities.
Harbin ranked first on the “Top Ten Chinese Cities for Ice and Snow Tourism” list recently released by China Tourism Academy. Originating from the Ice Lantern Show in 1985, the HIISF has become one of the world’s four largest ice and snow festivals, along with the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan, the Quebec Winter Carnival in Canada and the Ski Festival in Norway.