It has held since 1963. However, it was interrupted for a number of years during the Cultural Revolution, but it was resumed in 1985.
Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province of PRC, is one of the sources of snow and ice culture in the world. Geographically, it's situated in Northeast China under the direct influence of the cold winter wind from Siberia.
The average temperature in summer is 21.2 degrees Celsius, and -16.8 degrees Celsius in winter. Also, it can be as cold as - 38.1 degrees Celsius in winter.
Officially, the Ice and Snow festival starts from January 5th and lasts one month. But often the exhibitions open earlier and last longer, weather permitting. Ice sculpture decoration ranges from the modern technology of lasers to traditional ice lanterns.
The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is one of the world's 4 largest ice and snow festivals, along with Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway's Ski Festival.
Location: Zhaolin Park in central Harbin next to the Songhua River.
Getting There: The city of Harbin is linked by train and air to most major Chinese towns. Once in Harbin, you'll be hard-pressed to miss the festival. But electric bus routes 101, 103 and 114 all get you to the Park.
Tips: Plan for cold like you've never experienced, unless you are from Antarctic or Siberia. The city of Harbin is no site to look glamorous, so get out the layers. Packing musts include:
• Chapstick, lotion: it's skin-crackling dry cold in the north so bring along some moisturizer to keep you comfortable
• Down outerwear - a ski suit isn't a bad idea
• Hat, gloves, scarf, etc.
• Lined, wool socks and warm boots
• Long underwear
• Festival officially starts January 5 each year and lasts one month.
• Harbin Weather:
Average Harbin Temperatures
Average Harbin Rainfall