Red Square, Bangkok temple among ice festival sculptures

In this Jan. 2, 2018 photo, visitors walk among the attractions at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (Chinatopix via AP)
FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2018 file photo, visitors walk among the attractions at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (Chinatopix via AP, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2018 photo, visitors walk among the attractions at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (Chinatopix via AP, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2018 photo, visitors walk among the attractions at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (Chinatopix via AP, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2018 photo, visitors walk among the attractions at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (Chinatopix via AP, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2018 photo, visitors walk among the attractions at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (Chinatopix via AP, File)
In this Jan. 2, 2018 photo, visitors walk among the attractions at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (Chinatopix via AP)
FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2018 file photo, visitors walk among the attractions at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (Chinatopix via AP, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2018 photo, visitors walk among the attractions at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (Chinatopix via AP, File)
In this Jan. 2, 2018 photo, the attractions are lit at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (Chinatopix via AP)
In this Jan. 2, 2018 photo, visitors walk among the attractions at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (Chinatopix via AP)
In this Jan. 2, 2018 photo, visitors walk among the attractions at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks. (Chinatopix via AP)

HARBIN, China — Ice sculptures of Moscow's Red Square and Bangkok's Temple of the Emerald Buddha are among landmarks featured in the world's largest ice festival.

The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in the frigid northeastern Chinese city is known for massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures featuring animals, cartoon characters and landmarks.

Some of this year's displays center on Chinese President Xi Jinping's major foreign policy and trade initiative, the One Belt One Road, an ambitious plan to link Asia and Europe with a network of railways, ports and other infrastructure.

Ice sculpture artist Han Zhenkun designed his work based on the historic Silk Road.

"Back then, through the Silk Road, exquisite art works from China like potteries were transported by camels and horses to the Western world," Han said.

Main activities start this week and the festival runs through late February, with heavy crowds expected during Lunar New Year celebrations, Feb. 15-23. Temperatures at this time of the year can dip below zero Fahrenheit (minus 18 Celsius).

Last year's festival drew 18 million visitors and 28.7 billion yuan ($4.4 billion) in tourism revenue for Harbin, data from the city's tourism bureau showed.

One park, the Harbin Ice-Snow World, features more than 2,000 ice sculptures made from 180,000 cubic meters (240,000 cubic yards) of ice collected from the Songhua River by nearly a thousand workers. In the evening, sculptures are lit with colorful lights.

In addition to ice sculpture competitions, the festival also includes winter swimming, ice hockey, skiing and snow biking.

"Art has no borders," Han said. "It's an abstract language. We communicate with our works in this international competition. It means a lot."

People also read these

China cracks down on tools used to get around web filters

Jan 23, 2017

A Chinese technology regulator has announced a 14-month campaign to root out services that allow...

Chinese Pres. Xi promotes 2022 Winter Olympics with visit

Jan 24, 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed the need for sustainability and post-event planning on a...

China marks Lunar New Year with prayers, incense, fireworks

Jan 28, 2017

Chinese are lighting incense sticks and praying at temples to wish for an auspicious start to the...

China's coal consumption falls for 3rd year in a row

Feb 28, 2017

China has released data showing that the country's consumption of coal fell in 2016 for a third...

Business group: China tech plan threat to foreign firms

Mar 7, 2017

A European business group says China is violating its free-trade pledges by pressing foreign makers...

AseanCoverage is a next-gen news site focusing exclusively on online news from South East Asia.

Contact us: sales[at]aseancoverage.com