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New Year's in China - Harbin

Written on: Saturday March 21st, 2009

A journal entry from: Japan

We spent the last couple days in the north of China, in Harbin. It was a little bit like going home; the weather was pretty similar to my hometown in winter. Harbin is relatively close to Russia, so one of the interesting things here was the presence of Russian gift shops, fur hats, and even an Orthodox church. But really we came to see the snow and ice festival. The "snow" and "ice" bits of the festival were actually two separate things happening in different parts of the city. We visited the snow festival in the afternoon, walking around a big park in the cold checking out the variety of snow sculptures, and afterwards drinking tea in a rest spot built partly of snow. A few of the sculptures were huge, like buildings, but many were far small.


In the evening we went to the ice festival. The ice festival was like a theme park, in this case built out of ice blocks lit up with bright coloured lighting strips. Most of it was a variety of ice castles and other buildings, many of which had ice slides. Ice slides are fun – but if you aren't wearing the right kind of material for your pants, sometimes you just stick to the ice, and don't slide very well at all, as I discovered.