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  Chinese Way>Life

Harbin's world of ice and snow

2014-03-07 13:35:40

(China Daily) By ZHOU HUIYING



The Harbin Ice and Snow World covers 750,000 square meters and required more than 300,000 cubic meters of ice and snow to build.

Iconic festival draws millions every year.

Every winter millions of tourists head north to see the country's most spectacular ice and snow shows in Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang province.

Now an iconic event in the country, the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is one of the world's four largest ice and snow events.

It ranks alongside the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan, the Quebec City Winter Carnival in Canada and the Holmenkollen Ski Festival in Norway.

The Harbin festival starts on Jan 5 every year and lasts for a month, overlapping some of China's most important traditional holidays including Spring Festival and the Lantern Festival.

"This year marked the 30th anniversary of the festival, which is regarded as a carnival for both locals and tourists nationwide," said local officials.

"And that's why Harbin is called the Ice City."

During the 2013 Spring Festival, Harbin received more than 2.8 million visitors, up 5.21 percent from the year previous, generating 3.12 million yuan in tourism income, an increase of 16.69 percent.

A leader in China's winter tourism, Harbin received 28.5 million tourists in 2012 and 2013 with tourism income surpassing 28.77 million yuan.

Started in 1985, the ice and snow festival attracts visitors including foreign ambassadors, travel agencies, the media and residents to enjoy the shows together.

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