Take a tour of the stunning Chinese art festival that stretches more than 112 football fields of pure ice

It took 10,000 workers and three months of design work

Seriously impressive ice and snow art
If Elsa from "Frozen" ever needs help building her ice castles, she might want to check out the talent behind the Harbin Ice Festival.

The annual event, held in the city of Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang province, boasts some seriously impressive ice and snow art built to monumental scale.

It took 10,000 workers and three months of design work to construct the massive exhibition, which covers more than 112 football fields. Now in its 32nd year, the festival is a tourist favorite despite the sub-zero temperatures.

Elsa, eat your heart out.

Fireworks light up the sky behind the brilliantly colored ice palace on the opening day of the festival, January 5.

Brightly colored lights illuminate the fantastical structures.

Visitors admire the many spires and turrets. The largest tower stands at 36.5 meters, or nearly 120 feet, tall.

The architecture blends elements of fairy tale castles, Buddhist stupas, and mosques.

A crowd gathers to enjoy the whimsical spectacle.

Visitors can ascend the steps and take a closer look.

Larger-than-life snow sculptures like this one also make for grand photo ops.

This is the 32nd year of the event, which typically draws large crowds and brings a boost to the local economy.

If you visit, though, you'll want to bring a warm coat — temperatures in Harbin hover as low as -24 degrees Fahrenheit in January.

The event is a massive undertaking, with attractions spanning a space the size of 112 football fields.

330,000 cubic meters of ice were used to construct the winter wonderland.

Tourists are dwarfed by the giant scale of the structures, which took three months to design.

During the daytime, the colorful lights are turned off in favor of letting the white snow and ice glitter in the sun.

Some structures appear to be built of ice bricks, which glisten in the cold light of day.

Other structures emulate traditional castle battlements.

Harbin is one of China's most populous northern cities.

Here, one of the 10,000 workers contracted to construct the project polishes an icicle-like sculpture before the show begins.

A visitor gazes on a castle that is lit from within.

A crystal-clear ice archer takes aim into the sky as a worker polishes another piece of the art exposition.

The ethereal snow sculptures disappear into the white sky.

There's more than just art at this festival, though. Below, a swimmer competes in the Harbin Ice Swimming Competition, which takes place in a pool carved from thick ice covering the Songhua River.

Brave swimmers take on the cold water — and freezing temperatures — of this winter endeavor.

Another swimmer dives into the water on the festival's official launch day as onlookers watch.

The race continues.

Before opening the festival, workers polish and perfect every snow surface.

The festival will stay open through the end of February.

A horse stands in front of one of the glittering sites.

Another one of the more than 10,000 workers polishes an ice statue with a broom.

A team of Chinese and Danish designers worked together to create the plan for this year's attraction.

The result is an unusual collection of different architectural and artistic styles, all built to monumental size and destined to disappear come spring.


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