Harbin's annual ice harvest begins with traditional ceremony
Updated : 2023-12-11
By ( chinadaily.com.cn )
Workers read a blessing at a folk ceremony marking the start of the ice harvest season on the frozen Songhua River in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, on Thursday. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Harbin, the capital of China's northeastern Heilongjiang province, initiates its annual ice collection from the Songhua River, a spectacle eagerly anticipated by locals and tourists.
On Thursday, the first block of ice was pulled from the Songhua River, marking the start of the city's time-honored tradition.
The inaugurate ceremony was steeped in heritage, during which a group of workers in traditional costumes pulled the first block from the river after the head worker read a blessing.
Over the next two weeks, workers will collect ice blocks and transport them to different scenic spots for ice and snow. One such spot is the Harbin Ice and Snow World Park, one of the most important venues of the city's annual winter gala, the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.
The head worker pulls out an ice block on the frozen Songhua River in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, on Thursday. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Manufactured ice often contains air bubbles and isn't sturdy enough to carve. Therefore, ice for the festival is sourced from the Songhua River, which runs through the city.
Artists carve the blocks into fanciful sculptures, transforming the city into a winter wonderland.
The traditional ceremony attracted thousands of residents and tourists who braved the extreme cold and strong wind on the frozen river.
After the ceremony, residents and tourists joined in various games on the ice and snow and ate local specialties.
Workers pull out the first block of ice from the Songhua River in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, on Thursday. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
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