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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 January 2007, 16:32 GMT
In pictures: Harbin ice festival

Ice sculptures lit up at night

The annual Ice and Snow Festival has opened in Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang province in northeast China. The festival is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

Tourist inside ice sculpture

Thousands of tourists from China and elsewhere brave the sub-zero temperatures to admire the ice sculptures, some of them large enough to walk through.

Fireworks over large model of Orthodox church

Some of the structures are created by piling ice blocks up to make huge models of buildings. Lights are frozen in the middle of the blocks.

Model of Niagara Falls

Other sculptures are gigantic creations of snow made to resemble geographic features such as Canada's Niagara Falls.

Ice sculptor at work

Smaller sculptures are carved from blocks of ice with chain saws and chisels.

Giant snowman

The festival covers 400,000 square metres and uses 120,000 cubic metres of ice and snow on Sun Island on the Songhua River in Harbin.






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