5 Jan 2015

Stunning ice sculpture festival opens in China

Tower blocks, a giant castle and a full-size steam train – all made of ice. One of the world’s biggest ice festivals opens in Harbin, China.

The annual ice festival in Harbin – one of China’s coldest cities – draws millions of tourist from across the country and abroad.

Now in its 31st year, the festival lasts until the snow starts to melt in February.

This year’s show features a maze, a complete cityscape and full-size steam train made of ice.

The festival includes a swimming competition for those who like their water a little colder – as far down the scale as minus 17 degrees Celsius, to be exact.

Over 700 enthusiasts from 49 amateur groups nationwide braved icy waters to compete in the two-day contest.

Most people taking part are only able to swim for about a minute before getting out.