China: Ice Festival Opens in Beijing
Tourists and locals flock to Beijing’s Ice and Snow Festival as northern China endures its coldest winter in years.
Held in Yanqing County, these ice sculpture displays have become a major tourist attraction.
[Li Chengshao, Visitor]:
„Even though we can watch the ice sculptures on TV, we wanted to see them with our own eyes. There are sculptures of so many shapes and colors here and it seems like every sculpture is unique. It’s great.“
The ice is cut from the surface of frozen rivers in huge translucent blocks. They’re then sawed, chiseled and polished into shape. Then lights are set into them to make them glow.
One could say these sculptures are elaborate creations of ice lanterns. People in northern China used to make ice lanterns to be used during celebrations or for practical lighting.
This year tiger figures are prominent, as the Year of the Tiger will start next month according to the Chinese lunar calendar.
The festival runs until the end of February when the ice begins to melt.