Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival kicks off

Updated on : Tuesday, January 5, 2010

BEIJING: Harbin, the capital of China's now-frozen northeastern Heilongjiang province is holding its annual International Ice and Snow Festival. It opens on Tuesday, but some visitors couldn't wait to enjoy the Disney-themed ice park.

Locals and tourists are already enjoying glittering ice sculptures, and braving temperatures way below zero in a Disney world. The Ice Show takes up residence in a central park each year.

Minnie, Mickey and other characters from the popular franchise are accompanied by fairyland towers and castles. Tunnels, rooms and even slides are all made entirely out of ice.

Huge chunks are cut from the Songhua River, and chiseled into translucent sculptures.

Colored lights set inside create what the Chinese call ice lanterns.

A Jilin tourist said, "It's very exciting. One of the most exciting cities in the east and I've never come before. It's my first time seeing so many beautiful ice sculptures and lanterns. But this year is really cold."

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