I used to dream about a world of ice and snow, everything in there is made of shiny ice and snowflakes. I thought it would never be true, until I saw the beauty of Harbin.
Harbin is a city located in Northeastern China, it is the capital of Heilongjiang Province. Harbin is most famous of its view of ice and snow, and it is called “the Ice City Harbin” by the world.
Due to the geological location of the city, Harbin gets really cold in the winters. The temperature is usually around -30ºC(about -22ºF), but this year is especially cold, and the temperature went all the way to -35ºC(about -31ºF). With this freezing weather, ice and snow is able to get on the stage.
The most amazing ice views are “Snow Statues” and “Ice Lanterns”. Snow Statues, just like the name, are statues made of snow. It snows a lot in Harbin every year, therefore, artists collect natural snow and condense them into huge cubes of snow, these snow cubes can be hard as rock as one. Artists then start to use special tools to build the statues by slicing off snow from the snow cube, and make them into artistic and gorgeous looking statues for others to look at. Snow statues are very hard to make, because every single slice will require thorough thinking and skill, or the statue will fall into pieces.
Snow Statues are amazing under daylight, but what if it gets dark? Don’t worry, ice lanterns are there to keep your eyes busy. Ice lanterns are basically ice statues, but there is one thing different, they glow. Ice lanterns are made of huge cubes of ice that can be acquired from frozen rivers. Due to the low temperature, the river water can be frozen in winter, and the ice can be as thick as 4 to 6 feet. Workers collect these ice and make them ice statues first. Like snow statues, they require very carful slices to be cut on them. There is something even harder to do, artists have to put colorful light bulbs and tubes into the statues in order to make them glow.
Just Because the outside temperature is low enough, these snow statues and ice lanterns are able to “alive” both during the day and the nights. Harbin hosts the “Ice Festival” every January 5th of the year.
Everything that used to be in my icy dream, is now in Harbin, the true world of ice.