Harbin, China's annual snow sculpture competition is over for the year, but the giant sculptures will be on view for another month or so in the city in China's northernmost province. Nineteen teams of sculptors, sixty people in all, worked on this year's projects.
The giant sculptures are created out of blocks of ice carved from the nearby Songhua river and sculpted with a variety of tools including saws, chisels and temperature. The festival uses around 220,000 cubic meters of ice blocks each year; the largest ever, a Guinness record for ice sculpture, was made in 2007 and used 13,000 cubic meters.
The activities start in December, with carving completed and an official opening on January 5th each year. There's no formal closing date, but by March the sculptures begin to melt. While attendance dropped in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic, in past years as many as 18 million visitors have attended.