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January 7, 2010
Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival
HARBIN, China (AP) -- A cold snap in northern China has thrown daily life into confusion, but is ideal for fairy tale palaces, towering pagodas, and even a sphinx -- all carved from ice -- that make up the sights at this year's Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.
The annual event in northern China, now in its 26th year, pulls crowds from across China and even a few visitors from overseas, drawn to the unique visions of an international roster of sculptors who illuminate their creations with multicolored electric lights encased in the translucent ice. (26 images)

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Ice scupltures are displayed at the annual Ice and Snow festival in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province on Jan. 5. Fairy tale palaces, towering pagodas, and even an Egyptian Sphynx -- all carved from ice -- are among the sights at this year's Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, as the annual event, now in its 26th year, pulls crowds from across China and even a few visitors from overseas, drawn to the unique visions of an international roster of sculptors who illuminate their creations with multicolored electric lights encased in the translucent ice. AFP / Getty Images / str


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Ice scupltures are displayed at the annual Ice and Snow festival in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province on Jan. 5. AFP/Getty Images / str



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Ice scupltures are displayed at the annual Ice and Snow festival in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province on Jan. 5. AFP/Getty Images / str



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Ice scupltures are displayed at the annual Ice and Snow festival in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province on Jan. 5. AFP/Getty Images / str



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A view of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in Harbin in northeastern's China's Heilongjiang province, Tuesday, Jan. 5. AP / Ng Han Guan



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Ice scupltures are displayed at the annual Ice and Snow festival in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province on Jan. 5. AFP/Getty Images / str



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Tourists visit a snow and ice festival in Jilin, north China's Jilin province on January 4. Heavy snow has brought more travel chaos to north China, stranding thousands of truckers for two days on a Beijing highway and 1,400 rail passengers in Inner Mongolia, state media said. AFP/Getty Images / str



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Visitors walk between buildings made from blocks of ice at the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in Harbin in northeastern's China's Heilongjiang province, Tuesday, Jan. 5. AP / Ng Han Guan



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A woman slides down an ice slide at the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival held in Harbin in northeastern's China's Heilongjiang province, Tuesday, Jan. 5. AP / Ng Han Guan



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A man clears an ice slide of snow as a girl walks along the track at the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival held in Harbin in northeastern's China's Heilongjiang province, Tuesday, Jan. 5. AP / Ng Han GuanGuan



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A woman slides down a 180 meter long ice slide at the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival held in Harbin in northeastern China's Harbin province, Thursday, Jan. 7. AP / Ng Han Guan



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Visitors watch fireworks display during the opening ceremony of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival held in Harbin in northeastern's China's Heilongjiang province, Tuesday, Jan. 5. AP / Ng Han Guan



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Fireworks light up the sky to kick off the annual Ice and Snow festival in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province on Jan. 5. AFP / Getty Images / str



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Visitors watch fireworks during the opening ceremony of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in Harbin in northeastern's China's Heilongjiang province, Tuesday, Jan. 5. AP / Ng Han Guan



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Visitors watch fireworks during the opening ceremony of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in Harbin in northeastern's China's Heilongjiang province, Tuesday, Jan. 5. AP / Ng Han Guan



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Ice sculptures are displayed at the annual Ice and Snow festival in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province on Jan. 5. AFP / Getty Images / str



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Fireworks light up the sky to kick off the annual Ice and Snow festival in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province on Jan. 5. AFP/Getty Images / str



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Visitors enjoy the sights at the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival held in Harbin in northeastern's China's Heilongjiang province, Wednesday, Jan. 6. AP / Ng Han Guan



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Visitors enjoy the sights at the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival held in Harbin in northeastern's China's Heilongjiang province, Wednesday, Jan. 6. AP / Ng Han Guan



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Visitors enjoy the sights at the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival held in Harbin in northeastern's China's Heilongjiang province, Wednesday, Jan. 6. AP / Ng Han Guan



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A view of the ice palaces assembled from blocks of ice at the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival held in Harbin in northeastern China's Harbin province, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010. AP / Ng Han Guan



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A Chinese worker prepares for the opening ceremony of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in Harbin in northeastern's China Heilongjiang province, Tuesday, Jan. 5. AP / Ng Han Guan



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Workers carve out a sculpture from compacted snow in Harbin, northeastern China's Heilongjiang province, Thursday, Jan. 7. AP / Ng Han Guan



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Workers carve out a sculpture from compacted snow in Harbin, northeastern China's Heilongjiang province, Thursday, Jan. 7. AP / Ng Han Guan



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Sculptors work on a snow sculpture on Dec. 26, in preparation for the Vasaloppet China 2010 event in Changchun in northeast China's Jilin province. AP



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Visitors pose near giant sculptures made from ice and snow before the opening ceremony of the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival in Harbin in northeastern's China Heilongjiang province, Tuesday, Jan. 5. AP / Ng Han Guan



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