While many people prefer to hunker down during the winter months, you might think differently if you lived in Harbin, China.
Though this city is located in Heilongjiang, the country's northernmost (and coldest!) province, people here have spent decades perfecting strategies for fending off the winter blues and staying active in a subzero climate.
The general attitude in Harbin is that when life gives you icicles, make ice castles! What that means for residents is that, in addition to skiing, snowmobiling and winter swimming, the best way to relish the season is to organize an elaborate two-month-long ice and snow festival.
Known officially as the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, this winter cultural event features larger-than-life snow sculptures, as well as entire buildings, slides and mazes created from ice cut from the nearby Songhua River. When the sun goes down, the frosty mini-city takes on an entirely new character as it's illuminated with a psychedelic rainbow of lights.
For a glimpse of what it's like to experience the festival's vivid winter wonderland, check out the video below:
It's a stunning sight, but if you can't make it there this year, continue below for a frosty taste of what you're missing!
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