The annual Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is Harbin's main tourist highlight. It is the world's biggest winter festival. The bitterly cold winters are just right for this festival.
What sets the Harbin festival apart is the scale and size of the sculptures and the beautiful lighting. It is bigger than the ones in Sapporo, Norway, and Quebec.
At first, mainly Chinese participated, but in the last decade, it has become an international festival and competition. As the festival grows in international participation, and as China's economy grows, the size of the snow sculptures and ice architecture exhibits keeps growing. The work going into making these exhibits is astounding, and their size and beauty is amazing.
The lightning effects on the huge ice sculptures in the Ice and Snow World are technologically sophisticated. They use computer controlled LEDs and regular lighting to animate stunning displays of color and design.
The huge ice sculptures are reaching real-life size.There are actually three different main festival venues for the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.