2021 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival: Spectacular ‘Kingdom of Ice and Snow’ is lit up in neon lights

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Spectacular ‘Kingdom of Ice and Snow’ is lit up in neon lights for world’s largest winter festival in China

  • 148-acre Ice and Snow World of Harbin opened its doors to visitors Thursday
  • It will be the main venue of the 2021 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival from Jan. 5
  • A New Year’s Eve party with live music and 10,000 revellers has been planned
  • Drone footage shows the rainbow-coloured wonderland dazzling in the dark

China is preparing to open the world’s largest annual winter festival, the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, as the rest of the world continues to be paralysed by the novel coronavirus. 

A sprawling ‘Kingdom of Ice and Snow’, the main venue of the seasonal celebration built entirely with local ice chunks, opened its doors to visitors on Thursday.

A New Year’s Eve party is to follow – with a light show, live music and a disco party of some 10,000 revellers in the plan – before the festival officially kicks off on January 5 in the ‘city of ice’ Harbin.

Stunning footage released by the local government shows a fairy-tale-like theme park featuring icy castles and skyscrapers lit up in dazzling neon lights in the Chinese city of Harbin

Stunning footage released by the local government shows a fairy-tale-like theme park featuring icy castles and skyscrapers lit up in dazzling neon lights in the Chinese city of Harbin

This year's park features structures devoted to China, Mongolia and Russia, as well as 17 eastern and central European countries including Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Czech Public

This year’s park features structures devoted to China, Mongolia and Russia, as well as 17 eastern and central European countries including Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Czech Public

The sprawling 'Kingdom of Ice and Snow', the main venue of the 2021 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival and built entirely with local ice chunks, opened its doors to visitors on Thursday

The sprawling ‘Kingdom of Ice and Snow’, the main venue of the 2021 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival and built entirely with local ice chunks, opened its doors to visitors on Thursday 

With a population of around one million, Harbin is the provincial capital of Heilongjiang near the China-Russia border.

It is billed as ‘the Moscow of the Far East’ for its heavy Russian influence due to the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway at the beginning of the 20th century.

The renowned annual festival of all things wintry began in 1985 and will celebrate its 37th edition in 2021.

The spectacular ice kingdom, officially known as the Ice and Snow World, was established in 1998 and has been the festival’s crown jewel since.

The rainbow-coloured wonderland occupies 148 acres and is a little bigger than London’s Hyde Park.

The 2021 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival will begin on January 5. Pictured above, workers place an ice block onto an ice structure at the Ice and Snow World in Harbin, China, on December 16

The 2021 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival will begin on January 5. Pictured above, workers place an ice block onto an ice structure at the Ice and Snow World in Harbin, China, on December 16

Thousands of sculpture artists spent half a months building the sprawling winter wonderland. Pictured above, a worker uses water to bond blocks of ice while building an ice structure

Thousands of sculpture artists spent half a months building the sprawling winter wonderland. Pictured above, a worker uses water to bond blocks of ice while building an ice structure

Stunning footage released by the local government shows the fairy-tale-like theme park featuring icy castles and skyscrapers lit up in dazzling neon lights on the eve of its opening on Wednesday.

Thousands of sculpture artists spent half a months building the sprawling winter utopia.

According to the organisers, this year’s park features structures devoted to China, Mongolia and Russia, as well as 17 eastern and central European countries including Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Czech Public.

Workers build ice structures at the site of the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival before its opening

Workers build ice structures at the site of the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival before its opening

With a population of around 1million, Harbin is the provincial capital of Heilongjiang near the China-Russia border

With a population of around one million, Harbin is the provincial capital of Heilongjiang

It is billed as 'the Moscow of the Far East' for its heavy Russian influence due to the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway at the beginning of the 20th century

It is billed as ‘the Moscow of the Far East’ for its heavy Russian influence due to the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway at the beginning of the 20th century

The kingdom’s centrepiece is called ‘the heart of the ice city’.

The impressive frozen high-rise, inspired by the shape of crystal columns, measures 40 metres (131 feet) in height and is as tall as a 12-storey office building.

The organisers have also built eight gigantic ice slides, a constant favourite for visitors in the past years.

The 2021 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival will begin on January 5 and last for a month or so. Its exact closing date will depend on when the ice begins to thaw.

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