Harbin Ice Festival

Topics: Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, Ice sculpture, Harbin Pages: 6 (1998 words) Published: February 24, 2013
1.0 Introduction
2.1 History

Do you know that ice was once used to hold a burning candle during the Qing Dynasty back in 1644? The ice lantern was first created in the northeast China during the winter time. It was said that, back in the 17th century, ice lanterns were made by fisherman and farmers in the northeast China to prevent the candle from being blown out by the strong wind. Due to the climax weather in northeast China, ice can easily be formed by just letting a bucket of water to freeze in open air. Therefore, fishermen in China decide fill up a bucket of water and let it freeze in the open space. After few hours of freezing in the open space, fishermen heat the bucket a little to separate the ice from the bucket. The fisherman then chiseled a hole in the middle of the ice to release the remaining water leaving a hollow vessel. A windproof ice lantern is now formed. The windproof ice lantern has gain popularity that people starts to make ice lanterns to put outside their house and gave it to their children to play during some festivals. Ice lantern was the symbol of winter holiday back in the old days. Ice lanterns also symbolize the novel changes and immense advance in techniques of the Chinese craftsmanship.

2.2 Introduction of Harbin

Ice lanterns were first found in Harbin, Northeast China, which is located under the direct influence of the cold winter from Siberia. Harbin city came into settlement first in 1907, by the Nazhen nationality. This place was named Harbin because of the natural and cold fishing area in Songhua River. The name of Harbin literally meant “where fishing nets are dried”. During winter days especially on January, the average high temperature reached -13 °C (8 °F) while the average low temperature reached -25 °C (-13 °F). Although this province, Hei Long Jiang is under a bad weather, the population of this province had unbelievably reached 39 million, and the official population in only Harbin is 10 million with 4 million living in proper city areas.

2.0 Impact
2.1 Social and cultural impacts

According to ‘Festival and Special Event Management, Fourth Edition’, all events have a direct social and cultural impact on their participants. The impacts might be small from province to province and big until nationwide. Every event give impact of positive and negative to the participant.

First, the positive social and cultural impact to this event is the sharing of experience. While tourists participate in this event, they tend to learn experience from the citizens and might as well share their own experience to the other. Besides, the rate of community participation also increased because the preparation work for this festival acquires a lot of labor which opens a working opportunity to the citizens which increases the activity of citizens during a cold weather. The 2012 Harbin ice and snow festival also coincides the start of China-Russia tourism year, therefore, most of the performers from Russia join the performers from china to put up several memorable shows, which had increased the value of the entire event. Furthermore, new and challenging ideas were introduced through this event such as a new level of ice sculpting skills. Craftsmen were able to gain new ice carving and sculpturing from this festival. According the CNN News, there were about 2000 ice statues around Harbin and the largest snow sculpture, a 27 meter high ‘Snow Girl’ were placed in The Sun Island. Moreover, this festival had built the community pride of the province and the country. During the interview with CNN News, a Harbin resident said he was excited since ice and snow were always a part of their culture, and were joyous because the ice festival made their city more beautiful and was happy that foreigners can feel the enthusiasm of the locals through the event. This festival had impressed foreigners and even the locals from other province to pay a visit to this extremely cold...
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