Harbin is known as one of the birthplaces of the world ice and snow culture. In 1985, the authorities decided to hold an annual ice-snow festival in Harbin in addition to its traditional ice lantern celebration in parks. The ice-snow festival is held from January 5 to February 5 every year.
In 2001, the 17th Harbin Ice-Snow Festival together with the 3rd Heilongjiang International Skiing Festival emerged into the Harbin International Ice-Snow Festival. It is not only China's first regional festival with a theme of ice-snow, but also one of the world's four grand ice-snow festivals.
Since initiated in 1985, the Harbin International Ice-Snow Festival has made full use of resources of ice and snow and developed from a simple ice-snow festival to an international comprehensive event that comprises a wide range of activities such as cultural exchange, sports, trade, tourism and technological exchange.
The Harbin Ice-Snow Festival is not only a special holiday for local people, but also a gala for people from all walks of life at home and abroad. During the festival, various programs are presented to the visitors, including huge ice sculptures exhibition in Stalin Park and Harbin Ice-Snow World, which is known as Disneyland of Ice-Snow situated on the Songhua River, snow sculptures exhibition on Sun Island, the Ice Lantern Amusement Gathering in Zhaolin Park, and other activities such as winter swimming, ice hockey, soccer match on snow land, alpine skiing invitational tournament, ice sculpture competition, International ice sculpture competition, speed skating, poetry competition, photograph exhibition, books exhibition, film festival, and wedding ceremony on ice.
With a widespread influence at home and abroad, nowadays the Harbin International Ice-Snow Festival has become a cultural and economic window to show the development of Harbin.
(Official website: http://www.harbin-ice.net/)