Chinese Ice Festival Harbin 2011
The 27th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival began on Jan 5th, 2011.
Chinese New Year 2011 Ice Festival
The 27th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival started on Jan 5th, 2011. A worker shapes a snow sculpture prior to the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province.
Can you see a man in this picture? - It tells you the scale.
Man Adding Lights
A worker installs lights on a snow sculpture prior to the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province.
Chinese Ice Festival - Harbin
You can also find the world's largest Santa ice carving in the Chinese city of Harbin The giant Father Christmas, 160 metres long and 24 metres high. It centres on an enormous face of Father Christmas, complete with flowing beard and hat.
Its huge size and unseasonably warm temperatures have made the job especially challenging, Tang Guangjun, one of the sculptors, informed Will and Guy. 'It is even bigger and higher than last year's, and more difficult. The weather swings between warm and cold, so it becomes very wet and slippery on the ice. It is very dangerous for us,' he said.
Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province, China is one of the country's coldest places. Winter temperatures can drop to below -35 C. Every year the city plays host to a world-renowned ice festival. But the effects of global warming are taking a toll as the snow and ice now melt more rapidly than in the past. Organizers reported that they had to artificially make snow for their Santa Claus sculpture.
Not only are these beautiful sculptures, but they have been photographed thoughtfully, in particular the apt background to the pictures. You can see them in Sapporo, Japan. See more ice sculptures
Will and Guy bring you new information:
The Great Wall of China is even greater than once thought, after a two-year government mapping study uncovered new sections totalling about 180 miles, according to a report posted on the website of the *country's national mapping agency.
Using infrared range finders and GPS devices, experts discovered
portions of the wall concealed by hills, trenches and rivers that
stretch from Hu Shan mountain in northern Liaoning province to Jiayu
Pass in western Gansu province, the official China Daily reports.
The additional parts mean the Great Wall - construction of which began more than 2,000 years ago to prevent incursions into China by the Mongols and others - spans about 3,900 miles through the northern part of the country.
Recent studies by Chinese archaeologists have shown that sandstorms are reducing sections of the wall in Gansu to "mounds of dirt" and that they may disappear entirely in 20 years. These studies mainly blame the erosion on destructive farming methods used in the 1950s that turned large areas of northern China into desert. In addition, portions of the wall in Gansu were made of packed earth, which is less resilient than the brick and stone used elsewhere in much of the wall's construction.
China in recent years has begun restoring parts of the wall as well as trying to curb commercial development on or next to the ancient structure.
The wall's modern sections around the Chinese capital date from the Ming dynasty, including those restored since the Chinese Communist party took power in 1949, and several areas - including the most popular, Badaling, just north of Beijing - draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
Tourist encroachment also has been a major problem in recent years, with state media saying that near Badaling, almost every brick on a popular section of the wall has been carved with people's names or other graffiti.
* The latest mapping project, a joint venture by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, will continue into 2010y in order to map sections of the wall built during the Qin and Han dynasties [221 BC-9 AD].
Great Wall of China in Winter
The Great Wall of China is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is indeed great because it can be observed by man even from outer space. This wall measures more than 1500 miles in length and is also referred to as the "Ten Thousand Li Wall" with each Li being equivalent to 500 metres. See more interesting Chinese facts.
Did You Know?
One for luck: 20% of China's plants are used in medicine.
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