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Frigid northern China hosts snow and ice sculpture festival

Associated Press logo Associated Press 1/5/2017

HARBIN, China (AP) — The city of Harbin in China's frigid northeast is hosting one of the world's largest festivals featuring ice sculptures of animals, cartoon characters and famous landmarks.

The annual festival, which officially opens late Thursday, showcases the region's tradition of snow and ice carvings as well as ice swimming in the Songhua River. Harbin's temperatures can fall to minus 25 degrees Celsius (minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit).

Harbin's best carvers have been busy putting the finishing touches to their sculptures, which are based on big chunks of ice that are dragged out of the nearby river and carved, brushed, and lit up.

The sculptures include animals, cartoon characters and replicas of famous monuments, as well as a 340-meter (1,115-feet)-long slide that state media say took around 500 builders to complete.

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