On the morning of 7th of December, 2020, red-carpet opening ceremony for the 2nd Harbin Ice Collecting Festival took place on the Shangwu sand beach of Songhua River. Wang Zhaoli, a Member of Standing Committee of CPC Heilongjiang and Secretary of CPC Harbin announced opening ceremony for the ice collection festival. Jia Yumei, a Member of Standing Committee of CPC Heilongjiang and Director of Department of Publicity of Heilongjiang tied a red lace to the "First ice block", which signified auspiciousness and good luck. Yan Honglei, a Member of Standing Committee of CPC Harbin and Director of Department of Publicity of Harbin attended the opening ceremony. Nearly 10,000 citizens and tourists participated the event.
At the opening ceremony, series of traditional ice collection rituals were exercised following the 100-year-old folk tradition by raising the flag in wind, playing the stunning drums, making prays, drinking farewell liquor, collecting the first ice block and tying up with good luck. With the flying flags and stunning drums, "Ice collection master" made the praying on site and extended thankfulness to the nature praying for peace and safety over four seasons and rich harvest. "Heavy snow in winter brings good luck to our river. Such thick ice presents good luck..." With the call by the ice collection master, ice miners dressed in folk costumes come out together to drink farewell liquor to show the ice miners are not afraid of hardship and difficulties, and driven by the spirit of moving forward. Afterwards, official ice collection starts. Dozens of ice miners worked together in the "Ice collection chant", a totally new version from Anyuqibing, the hometown music team, to collect the first ice block taken from Songhua River, which signifies good luck and happiness.
At end of salute shooting and flower shower, "Ice collecting rhyme" sang by children brings the opening ceremony to its climax. The theme song "Hometown of Ice" by hometown singer Fu Xiaoting even better demonstrated the great passion for Heilongjiang and the love for ice and snow, thereby plotting a beautiful scene of Harbin, the “Hometown of Ice”. Audiences on site were dance following the music in the thrilling atmosphere.
At end of ice collecting ritual, hot and hilarious interactions turned up on site. Audiences on site jointly tasted dumplings boiled with water taken from Songhua River and cooked fish with water from Songhua River, and other delicious frozen foods, which are the special feasts for ice and snow. Hundred people were pouring water which is frozen afterwards, and distributed "First day ice" for good luck as part of the beautiful events.
Hundred big pots were set up on the firewood in strong flame so that ice turned into water. The minute the frozen dumplings were put into the pot, shouts are coming out for joy. Tourists from other cities are so excited when they take the dumplings being boiled ice water and expressed "We are so warm-hearted by such hot dumplings in such cold day. Eating dumplings on ice and snow is the taste we are chasing after. Just so excited."
In addition to stuffing your stomach, lucky gifts are also arranged. Distribution areas for "Get rid of all dieses by gaining the first ice block" and "Ice for first lucky day" are also surrounded by thrilled audiences, who collected clear and crystal ice cubes, made photo of them and circulated them among friends. In addition, audiences waiting in long-queue to take photo with ice pick and huge ice pear on site for ice collection festival. Tourists are trying every effort to enjoy the fun collecting ice. They pretended to be "Ice miner" by making pose of ice making in front of the ice picks. The snow sculpture of a huge frozen pear signifying "Never separated" become the hottest spot visited by celebrities on site. Many tourists took photo of it and kept it as good memory.
This ice collection festival is one of highlighted events for 2020-2021 Harbin ice and snow season. Once the new IP for ice and snow tourism was officially launched in 2019, it has been receiving good acknowledgement and drawing the attentions by all major media at home and abroad. For this event, CCTV and Culture and Sports channel of Heilongjiang Radio and TV Station made live broadcast of grand events on ice collection. Big well-known net based platforms also made cloud broadcast of such ice collection event. There are several well-known celebrities sharing such hilarious moments with net friends on site.
Harbin Ice Collecting Festival is the biggest ice collection event in China. Ice blocks taken from Songhua River will be continuously moved to Harbin Ice and Snow World, finally becoming beautiful ice and snow miracles demonstrating the distinct charm of "Good sceneries in the north are all in Heilongjiang."