Friday, January 8, 2010

Ice Festival In China

The opening ceremony of Harbin ice festival is fixed on January 5th. And there is no closing ceremony. The festival often lasts till the end of February. The annual event, now in its 26th year, pulls crowds from across China and even a few visitors from overseas, drawn to the unique visions of an international roster of sculptors who illuminate their creations with multicolored electric lights encased in the translucent ice. Tuesday night's opening ceremony featured a fireworks display, lighting up the sky above the festival's main site on Sun Island alongside the frozen Songhua River running to the north of Harbin, a metropolis as far north as Toronto that styles itself China's "ice city." Past festival themes have included the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, while perennial motifs include famous Chinese tourist sites such as Beijing's Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China. Tired of looking at the sculptures? Take a ride on the ice slide, but be sure to get out of the way quick as other thrill seekers zip down on you from behind.

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