Frozen towers and palaces stun visitors at Harbin ice festival

Giant snow mazes, illuminated frozen towers and crystal palaces etched from vast blocks of ice greeted visitors to China’s annual ice festival in Harbin. The frozen dreamscapes have drawn millions of visitors over the years to the wintery northeastern city, which opened the festival on Tuesday despite small Covid-19 outbreaks across China. Preparations for the annual winter celebration begin weeks in advance, with workers mining millions of cubic feet of ice from the surface of the Songhua river over long, gruelling shifts. Walls of ice carved into the shape of a giant flower were lit up on Tu…

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