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Fireworks paint the sky red above ice sculptures during the opening ceremony of the International Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, China on Jan. 5.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: DIEGO AZUBEL / EPA

Visitors enjoy the sights at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andy Wong / Associated Press

A woman climbs up an ice tower as visitors take pictures at the International Harbin Ice and Snow Festival held in Harbin, China.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: DIEGO AZUBEL / EPA

Sunset is seen near a castle made from blocks of ice before the opening ceremony of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andy Wong / Associated Press

An ice castle provides an irresistible backdrop to a group of girls visiting the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andy Wong / Associated Press

Ice buildings glow at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andy Wong / Associated Press

People visit ice sculptures at the International Harbin Ice and Snow Festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: DIEGO AZUBEL / EPA

A young girl has fun in an ice slide at the International Harbin Ice and Snow Festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: DIEGO AZUBEL / EPA

A horse-drawn carriage is seen amid ice sculptures and illuminated trees at the International Harbin Ice and Snow Festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: DIEGO AZUBEL / EPA

Visitors take photos on an ice sculpture at the International Harbin Ice and Snow Festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: DIEGO AZUBEL / EPA

Visitors ride a horse-drawn carriage at the International Harbin Ice and Snow Festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: DIEGO AZUBEL / EPA

People visit ice sculptures at the International Harbin Ice and Snow Festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: DIEGO AZUBEL / EPA

Visitors walk up stairs made from blocks of ice for the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andy Wong / Associated Press

Silhouetted visitors walk up an ice castle made for the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. The festival is scheduled to officially open on Thursday night.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andy Wong / Associated Press

People visit ice sculptures at the International Harbin Ice and Snow Festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: DIEGO AZUBEL / EPA

Visitors take photos on a ice sculpture at the International Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, China.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: DIEGO AZUBEL / EPA

A man works on a snow sculpture at Sun Island, as part of the International Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, China.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: DIEGO AZUBEL / EPA

A man dives into a pool cut out of the frozen waters of the Songhua Jiang river in sub-zero temperatures during a winter swimming event as part of the International Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, China.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: DIEGO AZUBEL / EPA

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Towering sculptures at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

The International Harbin Ice and Snow Festival held in Harbin, in China’s northern Heilongjiang province, is set to open Thursday. The annual three-month-long festival attracts visitors from all over China as well as a number of foreign guests who brave below-zero temperatures to see colorful large ice and snow sculptures, ride horse-drawn carriages and enjoy a number of winter activities set up on the sidelines of the festival.

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