Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ice Castles Set to Steal Show at Festival in Harbin, China - YouTube

Ice Castles Set to Steal Show at Festival in Harbin, China - YouTube: ""

Uploaded by NTDTV on Jan 4, 2012

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The 28th annual Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is set to kick off this Thursday, with ice castles and giant sculptures. It takes more than ten thousand workers to put it all together every year."

Majestic castles and gigantic sculptures are set to steal the show at the 28th annual Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in China's northeastern Heilongjiang province.

Two days before the official opening on Thursday, artificial snow machines are blowing full blast at the festival's main attractions. That's because Harbin—one of China's coldest cities—is experiencing unusually mild temperatures—as high as 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

The festival's centerpiece is the Snow and Ice World. At a cost of $19 million, it's nearly 150 acres in size.

[Zhao Hongjun, Snow and Ice World Operation Manager]:
"It took 15 to 17 days to finish constructing the Snow and Ice World. We used more than 6.3 million cubic feet of ice."

Zhao says an estimated 15,000 workers are involved in the construction. They're now making the finishing touches.

35-year-old sculptor Liu Xiaodong says it's like a hobby.

[Liu Xiaodong, Harbin Ice Sculptor]:
"For me, as a Harbin native, I have special feelings towards ice... When I take a sculpting knife in hand, or let's say when I look at other people working and I'm not working, my hands feel as if they want to say, 'let me help you.' I feel very emotional."

This 22-year-old visitor says the place brings back memories.

[Zhang Meng, Hebei University Student]:
"I feel like I'm back to my childhood... Just now I went down the slide, and when I was young, I would also go down the slide at school. I feel much younger."

There were 1.1 million visitors last year. Organizers hope to see 20% more this time around.

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