Ice sculpture at the Harbin Ice and Snow World, a day before the launch of the 32nd Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin city, in China's northern Heilongjiang province. The festival will run from today to Feb 5.
The displays take up 750,000 sq m of space and include hundreds of buildings created by carvers who started working on their designs in late November. Sculptors usually recreate iconic landmarks or images inspired by Chinese fairy tales.
Observed since 1963, the festival was, however, not held for a number of years during the Cultural Revolution, but was revived in 1985. The event has come to be regarded as an international festival and has seen an increase in the number of international visitors.
This year's theme is "Pearl on the ice crown".