The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival (Chinese: 哈尔滨国际冰雪节; pinyin: Hā'ěrbīn Guójì Bīngxuě Jié) is an annual winter festival that takes place in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, and is the largest ice and snow festival in the world.
Officially, the festival starts on January 5 and lasts one month. However, exhibits often open earlier and stay longer, weather permitting. While there are ice sculptures throughout the city, there are two main exhibition areas:
During the festival, there are ice lantern park touring activities held in many parks in the city. Winter activities in the festival include Yabuli alpine skiing, winter-swimming in the Songhua River, and the ice-lantern exhibition in Zhaolin Garden.
Harbin is located in Northeast China and receives cold winter wind from Siberia. The average temperature in summer is 21.2 °C (70.2 °F), and –16.8 °C (1.8 °F) in winter. Annual lows of -35 °C (–31 °F) are not uncommon.
Other large ice and snow festivals include Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway's Holmenkollen Ski Festival.