The residents of Harbin, China, know about cold. The average temperature in their city at this time of year is zero degrees Fahrenheit. Instead of waiting out the winter indoors, the people of Harbin have celebrated the cold for the past 31 years. The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival features palaces carved from ice blocks, huge snow sculptures, frozen slides and outdoor sports — including a swim in the freezing-cold Songhua River!
The festival — which is open until the end of February, unless the weather warms — has become world famous and draws several million visitors each year. The crowds are biggest at night, when the temperatures dip even lower but the buildings look almost magical when bathed in colored lights.