China kicks off world’s biggest ice festivalhttps://indianexpress.com/photos/world-news/china-kicks-off-worlds-biggest-ice-festival-5526671/

China kicks off world’s biggest ice festival

The festival, which began on Saturday, has drawn millions of visitors from around the world every year since its inception in the early 1980s

China kicks off world's biggest ice festival

More than 300 men and women, wearing just ordinary trunks and swimsuits, braved the bitter cold waters in the ice swimming meet, part of Harbin’s annual winter festival in China which is also among the biggest in the northern hemisphere. (Reuters)

China kicks off world's biggest ice festival

Visitors marvel at the mini ice replicas of the Colosseum and of the Milan Cathedral, particularly in the long evenings when soft, colored lights illuminate the sculptures. (Reuters)

China kicks off world's biggest ice festival

Gentoo penguins are seen during a promotional event during an annual ice festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China. (Reuters)

China kicks off world's biggest ice festival

Swimming enthusiast Yu Hongtao, 50, trained for months in the freezing water of the Songhua river to compete in a winter ice swimming tournament held annually in China’s northern city of Harbin, known for its bitterly cold weather. (Reuters)

China kicks off world's biggest ice festival

Highlights include sled rides on the Songhua river, mass weddings, and towering sculptures of ice and snow carved by thousands of artists and workers. (Reuters)

China kicks off world's biggest ice festival

The festival, which began on Saturday, has drawn millions of visitors from around the world every year since its inception in the early 1980s. (Reuters)

China kicks off world's biggest ice festival

The festival also attracts hordes of domestic tourists. (Reuters)