The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, commonly known as Harbin Ice Lantern Festival or simply called Harbin Ice Festival, it consists of many winter activities, events, and four theme parks: Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo, Harbin Ice and Snow World , Harbin Wanda Ice Lantern World, and Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern Fair. Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo is a theme park for the snow sculptures, Both Harbin Wanda Ice Lantern World and Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern Fair are theme parks for the ice lanterns. Wanda Ice Lantern World is much bigger than Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern Fair and features a lot of ice lanterns, winter activities and shows. Harbin Ice and Snow World is a theme park for the ice/snow sculptures, shows, lighted ice buildings and all kinds of ice/snow activities. It is the most important theme park of the four parks.
The festival has been held since 1963. It had been interrupted for a number of years during the Cultural Revolution but had been resumed by 1985. Along with Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway's Ski Festival. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is listed as the top 4 ice and snow festivals in the world.
(Harbin Ice and Snow World 2017)
Traditionally, the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival open around Dec 24-25 and last to the end of February. But its official opening ceremony usually held on January 5th each year. And the time is usually considered as the official date of the formal beginning of the festival. The festival includes many interesting activities and events, such as ice and snow carnival, international ice sculptures competitions, ice lantern show, sliding, ice-sailing, sledging, ice hockey, ice football, speed skating, cross-field skiing and Alpine skiing competitions, fishing, swimming, ice and snow film art show, painting exhibition, calligraphy display, photo exhibition, folk song and dance performances, wedding ceremonies on ice, trade talks, trade fairs and all kinds of national or international sports events etc.
(Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo 2017)
For years, the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival has become the world’s most important winter tourist destination and photographers’ paradise. On December, January and February, thousands upon thousands of tourists flock to the ice city for their winter vacations, family holidays or honeymoon.
(Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern Art Fair 2017)
(Harbin Ice Lantern World 2018)
1. Best Time to go: Please avoid the Chinese New Year (Feb 4 - 10, 2019). The parks will be very crowded and the hotels are very expensive.
2. Ticket Price: To enter different venues (parks) of the festival, you have to buy different tickets at different prices. Ice Lantern Fair: RMB 150, Sun International Snow Sculpture Art Expo: RMB 330, Harbin Ice and Snow World: RMB 330; Harbin Wanda Ice Lantern World RMB 330
3. If you enter the Zhaolin Park before 15:30 pm, you can get a discount at ticket price, but it is not the best time to see the ice lanterns. After 5:50 pm, the best time there is no discount.
4. The Harbin Ice Festival 2019 will be closed at the end of February.
5. The theme parks of Harbin Ice Festival 2019 will have a trial operation from around December 24, 2018 to January 4, 2019. Tourists can visit all the theme parks during trial operation.The official opening of the festival is January 5, 2019.