Take a (Virtual) Trip to See the Coolest Ice Sculptures EVER
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Take a (Virtual) Trip to See the Coolest Ice Sculptures EVER

T.S. Eliot may have proclaimed April to be the cruelest month, but January is certainly the coldest. Right now, temperatures all across the US are dropping and venturing outside just doesn’t sound like fun. Meanwhile, over in China, ice sculpture artists are relishing the cold climate and creating a winter wonderland that is truly awe-inspiring. From a castle fit for a Frozen princess to an icy slide, these sculptures are pretty incredible.

This year is the 31st anniversary of Harbin’s annual Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. Sculpture artists gather to create dozens of structures made entirely out of ice, including this year’s enormous castle, which basically looks like a Disney movie come to life. Festival organizers set up a cluster of kaleidoscopes outside this castle-like structure. Up close, you can see the individual bricks of ice.

At night, many of the sculptures actually light up in a rainbow of colors, creating a carnival atmosphere. If you’re brave enough to face the sub-zero temperatures, you can explore the sculpture buildings, where you’ll find even more technicolor ice sculptures like this scene from 2010’s Ice and Snow Festival.

This year, festival-goers will have a ton of interactive sculptures to choose from, like this slide that’s actually made out of ice. In addition to sculpture gazing, the festival also offers dog sledding, winter safaris and ice lantern art.

While the sculptures vary from year to year, the mystique remains the same. With sculptures this massive and brightly-colored, Harbin has us wondering whether winter should be our favorite season after all. For more photos and information about the festival, check out the Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival’s website.

Are you ready to head to China to check out the sculptures yourself? Tell us in the comments.

(Photos via @kaorrrrrrrrrrrrri, @magnetgryFredrik Rubensson)