The official opening date of the 33rd Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival (commonly known as Harbin Ice Festival) will be on January 5, 2017.
Organized by Heilingjiang Provincial Government, Harbin Municipal Government and China National Tourism Administration, the event will last to the end of February, 2017. The opening ceremony will be held in Harbin International Exhibition Center & City Stadium in the evening of January 5. A big firework display will come after a meeting.
The Harbin Ice Festival 2017 will include 3 theme parks: the 18th Harbin Ice and Snow World, the 29th Harbin Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo, and the 43rd Ice Lantern Fair. In mid-December, the workers and sculptors will start to build the parks. From December 21 to Jan 4, all level of snow and ice sculpture competitions will be held in these parks. The parks will have a trial run around December 25, 2016 and close on around February 25, 2017, weather permitting.
If you visit Harbin for the Ice Festival 2017, just try to avoid the Chinese lunar new year holiday (Jan 27 - Feb 3) if possible. All the hotels, Harbin Ice and Snow World, the drivers and tour guide will raise their prices in this super Chinese holiday.