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Beijing – Harbin – Changchun – Shenyang
The Ice and Snow Festival, typically held from the New Year’s Day to mid-February each year, is one of the most important festivals in Harbin, the largest Chinese city along the China-Russia border. Unique of Harbin, the festival originated from a common practice centuries ago by fisherman who, during the long and cold winters, carved ice blocks into rudimentary lamp shades or even hollow bulbs, which were set over candles to prevent them from being blown out by the frigid wind. This age-old custom was first introduced at the first Ice Lantern Show in 1963 and has since attracted talented ice sculptors and artists from all over the world. Using chainsaws and other special ice carving tools, they turn hundreds of cold blocks of ice cut from the Songhua River into semi-transparent masterpieces of many different shapes, sizes and themes. Some of the more recent sculpture designs have been political figures, television and movie legends, comic book heroes, fairytale characters and their glittering castles, groupings of animals and plants, reproductions of an artist’s favorite science fiction story and even recognizable landmarks such as Japanese pagodas and the Great Wall. In addition to the Ice & Snow Festival in Harbin, the tour will give you a chance to visit some other northeastern cities in China where winter holds a special appeal.