News | International
23 Jan 2018 6:49
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Days of Xmas
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • Crime.co.nz
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > International

    At the Harbin Ice Festival in China, an epic city rises and falls every winter

    Each year in the Chinese city of Harbin, where the weather can plunge below minus 30 degrees Celsius, the world's largest ice sculpture city comes to life.


    There are few people on Earth who have carved as much ice as Gao Kailin.

    Each year the 47-year-old bears the early winter chill of China's north-east to help create the world's largest ice city.

    "First, the workers cut the ice out of the river, and then others deliver it around town, and then sculptors like me use water to glue all the ice bricks together," he said.

    "They go up like constructing buildings, but there's no frame inside."

    Harbin's weather can plunge below minus 30 degrees Celsius in the depths of winter, but the city's 10 million residents have decided to make the most of it.

    What originally started as a small ice carving contest for hobbyists has grown into the world's largest ice sculpture festival.

    "We started learning how to carve these sculptures as kids," Mr Gao said.

    "Some of the old masters taught us, and the knowledge passes from generation to generation."

    About 15,000 workers helped create this year's ice world, which sprawls more than 800,000 square metres in a park next to the Songhua river.

    Locals say the ice is sourced from the river in early December and is famous for its transparency.

    "Ice carvers from Harbin have travelled all over the world to create ice sculptures," said Sun Jian, another ice sculptor.

    "Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand — we've all been there to create ice statues."

    Sculptors bring icons from around the world to Harbin

    At this year's event, Chinese icons like Beijing's Temple of Heaven sit alongside European monuments, all illuminated by thousands of lights.

    Across town in a separate park run by the conglomerate Wanda, a replica of Moscow's Saint Basil Cathedral illuminates the night.

    About 180,000 cubic metres of ice is used to build the city, while a similar amount of snow is turned into snow sculptures.

    Organisers estimate about 1.5 million tourists — mainly from other parts of China — come to Harbin to visit the ice city each year.

    The tourism dollars and the temporary construction boom help create jobs in one of China's more sluggish economic regions.

    "The temperate isn't a problem for us," said tourist Dong Cheng, who travelled from southern Zhejiang province.

    "In winter the south is cold and damp. At least here it's a dry cold."

    For the sculptors who create this fleeting city of ice, enduring the cold is just part of the job.

    "It's not much good to be worried about the temperature," sculptor Sun Jian said.

    "And if you carve ice for long enough you'll start breaking a sweat, so the cold's the least of your problems."

    © 2018 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


     Other International News
     22 Jan: Australian filmmaker accused of spying in Cambodia moved to cell with 140 prisoners
     22 Jan: Screen Actors Guild awards: The big winners and why the awards were a little different this year
     22 Jan: Why we should forget losing weight and focus on healthy habits
     22 Jan: US shutdown: White House changes voicemail to say Democrats 'holding Government hostage'
     22 Jan: Rohingya resist push to return amid Bangladesh, Myanmar repatriation deal
     22 Jan: 'Space is open for business': NZ start-up successfully launches rocket
     22 Jan: Sanguma: The belief behind a rising number of murders in Papua New Guinea
     Top Stories

    RUGBY RUGBY
    Liam Messam signs for Toulon More...


    BUSINESS BUSINESS
    Chch council gets Havelock response update More...



     Today's News

    Business:
    Chch council gets Havelock response update 6:06

    Cricket:
    Munro steers NZ to T20 win over Pakistan 21:56

    Motoring:
    One dead in Bay of Plenty road crash 21:16

    Law and Order:
    Australian filmmaker accused of spying in Cambodia moved to cell with 140 prisoners 21:06

    Entertainment:
    Screen Actors Guild awards: The big winners and why the awards were a little different this year 19:46

    International:
    Why we should forget losing weight and focus on healthy habits 19:27

    Law and Order:
    Police stay vigilant over Panmure brawls 18:56

    Politics:
    US shutdown: White House changes voicemail to say Democrats 'holding Government hostage' 18:26

    Business:
    NZ shares up as Ryman gains, Fonterra dips 18:06

    International:
    Rohingya resist push to return amid Bangladesh, Myanmar repatriation deal 17:46


     News Search






    Power Search


    © 2018 New Zealand City Ltd