Sculptures, Castles, Mass Weddings: China Celebrates Ice Festival

Published January 8th, 2020 - 06:41 GMT

China's annual ice festival in Harbin has kicked off with couples lining up for a snow-themed mass wedding, swimmers braving frigid waters and frozen palaces rising from the ground, AFP said.

Fireworks marked the festival's opening on Sunday night as tourists wandered between colourfully illuminated ice towers and monuments in the northeastern city.

Earlier in the day, 43 brides in lace wedding gowns and down jackets waited in line with grooms to take part in a "mass ice and snow wedding", according to AFP.

A few brave swimmers plunged into a pool carved from the frozen Songhua River on a day when temperatures stayed below minus seven degrees Celsius (19 Fahrenheit) even in the afternoon.

View as a slider
View as a list
Tourist pose in front of an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP

Tourist pose in front of an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP

Workers apply the finishing touches to an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP

Workers apply the finishing touches to an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP

Couples arrive for a "mass ice and snow wedding" ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP

Couples arrive for a "mass ice and snow wedding" ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP

China's annual ice festival in Harbin has kicked off late on January 5 with couples lining up for a snow-themed mass wedding, swimmers braving frigid waters and frozen palaces rising from the ground. NOEL CELIS / AFP

China's annual ice festival in Harbin has kicked off late on January 5 with couples lining up for a snow-themed mass wedding, swimmers braving frigid waters and frozen palaces rising from the ground. NOEL CELIS / AFP

Tourists walk in front of an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP

Tourists walk in front of an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP

A tourist jumps in front of an ice sculpture during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP

A tourist jumps in front of an ice sculpture during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP

A swimmer participates in the winter swimming competition ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP

A swimmer participates in the winter swimming competition ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP

Tourists watch a fireworks display during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP

Tourists watch a fireworks display during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP

Ice sculptors give finishing touches on an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP

Ice sculptors give finishing touches on an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP

A tourist sits on an ice bike ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP

A tourist sits on an ice bike ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP

An aerial view shows ice sculptures illuminated ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP

An aerial view shows ice sculptures illuminated ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP

Tourist pose in front of an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
Workers apply the finishing touches to an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
Couples arrive for a "mass ice and snow wedding" ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP
China's annual ice festival in Harbin has kicked off late on January 5 with couples lining up for a snow-themed mass wedding, swimmers braving frigid waters and frozen palaces rising from the ground. NOEL CELIS / AFP
Tourists walk in front of an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
A tourist jumps in front of an ice sculpture during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP
A swimmer participates in the winter swimming competition ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP
Tourists watch a fireworks display during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP
Ice sculptors give finishing touches on an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
A tourist sits on an ice bike ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
An aerial view shows ice sculptures illuminated ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
Tourist pose in front of an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
Tourist pose in front of an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
Workers apply the finishing touches to an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
Workers apply the finishing touches to an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
Couples arrive for a "mass ice and snow wedding" ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP
Couples arrive for a "mass ice and snow wedding" ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP
China's annual ice festival in Harbin has kicked off late on January 5 with couples lining up for a snow-themed mass wedding, swimmers braving frigid waters and frozen palaces rising from the ground. NOEL CELIS / AFP
China's annual ice festival in Harbin has kicked off late on January 5 with couples lining up for a snow-themed mass wedding, swimmers braving frigid waters and frozen palaces rising from the ground. NOEL CELIS / AFP
Tourists walk in front of an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
Tourists walk in front of an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 4, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
A tourist jumps in front of an ice sculpture during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP
A tourist jumps in front of an ice sculpture during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP
A swimmer participates in the winter swimming competition ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP
A swimmer participates in the winter swimming competition ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP
Tourists watch a fireworks display during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP
Tourists watch a fireworks display during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 5, 2020. Noel CELIS / AFP
Ice sculptors give finishing touches on an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
Ice sculptors give finishing touches on an ice sculpture ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
A tourist sits on an ice bike ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
A tourist sits on an ice bike ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
An aerial view shows ice sculptures illuminated ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
An aerial view shows ice sculptures illuminated ahead of the opening of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province on January 3, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP