PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

By That's, January 5, 2018

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The 2018 Harbin Ice Festival officially opened to the public last month. This year marks the 34th edition of the world-renowned winter extravaganza.

Despite the mercury dropping to as low as −38°C degrees in Heilongjiang's capital during these frigid months, the world's largest winter fest annually attracts millions of brave visitors who trek through freezing, bitter cold temperatures to see magnificent snow and ice sculptures, which can be as tall as your average two or three-story building.

READ MORE: Harbin Travel Guide - Attractions, Tips, Food, Weather and More

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival 2018

Harbin Ice Festival 2018

Each and every year, the famous snow and ice sculptures are built by local and international designers, who carve their stunning creations using ice from the city's Songhua River. Last year's sculptures alone required a mind-boggling 330,000 cubic meters of snow and ice to construct.

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Kicks Off

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Kicks Off

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Kicks Off

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Kicks Off

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Kicks Off

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Kicks Off

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Kicks Off

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Kicks Off

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Kicks Off

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Kicks Off

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

Brightly colored LED lights are then placed inside the structures, which are lit up at night — making for the perfect selfie opp after sunset.

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

Harbin Ice and Snow World

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

Among the sculptures typically on display at the fest include replicas of famous world monuments, cartoon characters and more. This year, Tencent even sponsored a huge section of snow sculptures carved to look like characters from the popular video game King of Glory.

Kings of Glory sculptures at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival 2018

Kings of Glory sculptures at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival 2018

Kings of Glory sculptures at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival 2018

Kings of Glory sculptures at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival 2018

Kings of Glory sculptures at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival 2018

Kings of Glory sculptures at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival 2018

This year's fest also features 'Snow Wonderland,' a high-tech 3D snow-light show with modern lighting, digital displays and sounds.

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

PHOTOS: 2018 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Begins

Visitors can even slide down a giant ice luge!

Harbin Ice Festival 2018

This year's festival lasts until February 25, 2018. 

Visiting Harbin for the 2018 International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival? Be sure to check out our ultimate guide to Harbin, featuring travel tips, festival ticket prices, top attractions, restaurant recommendations, places to stay and more.

[Images via China Daily, Xinhua, News.cn, Netease, Sina, QQ, Weibo]

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