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World's largest ice city bursts into colour in China

Report by Rob Gillett, Video by Matt Blake

An annual winter carnival opened on Saturday in the northeast China city of Harbin, with an extravagant fireworks display, which turned the event's main venue into a sparkling wonderland after sunset.

The month-long Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is one of the largest and most influential in the world.

It attracts tourists and professionals, who visit the city to experience the mixture of stunning natural beauty and amazing handicraft.

Visitors to the Ice and Snow World in Harbin, can find large scale snow sculptures, ice slides, and a massive structure built with ice blocks taken from the frozen surface of the nearby Songhua River.

The main exhibition in the park covers an area of 75,000 square metres.

At night, visitors who brave the cold, see lights illuminating the sculptures from both inside and out.

The largest snow sculpture is 120 meters long and stands 20 meters tall, while the "Crystal Castle", an ice-carving project which was finished in December, towers over the winter theme park at a height of 48 meters.

Now in its 29th year, the event also offers ice swimming and hot-air ballooning.

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