The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is an annual winter festival that takes place with a theme in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, and now is the largest ice and snow festival in the world. Harbin is located in Northeast China and receives cold winter wind from Siberia. The average temperature in summer is 21.2 °C (70.2 °F), and –16.8 °C (1.8 °F) in winter. Annual lows of -35 °C (–31 °F) is not uncommon. Officially, the festival starts on January 5 and lasts one month. While there are ice sculptures throughout the city, there are two main exhibition areas:
Sun Island is a recreational area on the opposite side of the Songhua River from the city, which features an expo of enormous snow sculptures; and
The Ice and Snow World is an area open at night, which features illuminated full size buildings made from blocks of 2–3 feet thick ice directly taken from the Songhua River.