Harbin readies its cool treats

With less than two weeks to go before Christmas, ice sculptors are busy getting ready for the annual Harbin Ice Festival in China's north-eastern Heilongjiang province.

The festival, which is one of the biggest in the world, will open on Christmas Eve.

This year's show will feature stunning buildings of Chinese and Gothic architecture carved out of ice, including a tower that stands 40m tall.

Visitors can take part in activities such as ice hockey, speed-skating and fishing. There will also be dance performances, art shows and calligraphy displays.

Last year's festival drew 18 million visitors from China and around the world.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2018, with the headline 'Harbin readies its cool treats'. Print Edition | Subscribe