In the late 1980s, people on Sun Island transformed the folk game of making snowman into art, and together with Harbin ice lanterns, forming ice and snow sculptures. Northern Chinese people feel proud of Ice and snow which is the cornerstone of Harbin’s ice and snow culture.
Harbin International Snow Sculpture Art Expo is held on Sun Island every winter. The snow art exhibited in the expo, which is famous at home and abroad, has become an important part of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. During the snow sculpture competition, various ice sports are also held, such as skiing, skating, ice hockey, sailing on ice, etc.
Harbin International Snow Sculpture Art Expo on Sun Island, as the birthplace and leader of China’s snow sculpture art, becomes the highlight of winter tourism in Harbin. Because of its long duration (60-70 days), high quality, large scale, innovative themes, intriguing games, the expo is known as “the biggest ice and snow carnival in the world”.
After the transformation and development for three years, Sun Island has reappeared its former suburban scenery with a European flavor, providing an advantaged natural environment and basic conditions for the Harbin International Snow Sculpture Art Expo. The snow sculpture takes “Peace, Friendship and Development” as the theme, showing the artistic, fancy, and entertaining characteristics of the art of ice and snow to the fullest extent and creating a “big, fancy, beautiful and exquisite” landscape of ice and snow.
Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Sun Island
The exhibition venue of Harbin International Snow Sculpture Art Expo is in the central area of Sun Island Scenic Area with a total area of 40 hectares and about 100,000 square meters of snow and 10,000 cubic meters of ice will be used. The expo consists of 7 scenic areas.
The first Scenic Area: Greeting the Guests
As the front area of the expo, it is composed of a snow archway, national flags of sister cities, and other spectacles, creating a rich international atmosphere for the expo.
The second Scenic Area: Great China
The landscape in this area is designed on the basis of China’s extensive and profound history and culture， consisting of ice sculptures of Kylin (Chinese Unicorn), snow sculptures of lion dance, ice altars, ice abode of Chinese immortals, and the like.
The third Scenic Area: Verve of Black Soil
This scenic area, consisting of a folk archway, eight peculiar folk customs of Northeast China, eight generals of Northeast China, ice hotels, etc, mainly shows the unique customs and culture of North China. Especially the biggest ice hotel in the world, which was built with the materials at Post Hotel on Sun Island, will apply for a Guinness World Record. Besides, all the things in the hotel, such as tables, chairs, and tableware, are made of ice. In the ice hotels, visitors can not only dine but also experience personally the lives of Eskimo in temperatures below zero.
The fourth Area: Russian Theme Garden
This area was planned on the basis of the Year of Russia in China in 2006, consisting of Kremlin, ice and snow courier station, artillery, big clock, and various small Russian snow sculptures.
The fifth Area: Japanese Theme Garden
This area is designed and built-in cooperation with Asahikawa, a Japanese city. All the snow sculptures in this area are designed by professional designers from ice and snow festivals in Asahikawa, mainly exhibiting the best snow sculptures which have been exhibited in Asahikawa Winter Festival over the years.
The sixth Area: Enjoyable Snow Field
As the entertainment functional area of this festival, this area is equipped with a dozen of recreational facilities, such as ice and snow sliders, snowfield trains, snowfield motorcycles, and the like. In addition, this area is also the place where the National Snow Sculpture Competition takes place.
The seventh Area: Joyful Homeward Journey
This area is mainly used as the competition division of the International Snow Sculpture Competition and Heilongjiang Provincial Snow Sculpture Competition. There are four sets of vivid sculptures of lovely dogs, symbolizing auspiciousness. There is also an activity field for snowball fights and small business service shops.
How to Get There?
Take the ferry at Flood Prevention Cenotaph square, Daowai Qidao Street, Jiuzhan, or Tongjiang Street ferry station to take the ferry across Songhua river to Taiyang Dao. The ferry fee is about 2 yuan and it is the cheapest way to Taiyang Dao. However, it stops shipping service from late November to early April in the following year.
Tourists can take No. 13, 80, 88, 119, 125, 126, 29 to the area. Besides, the shuttle bus No. 29 at Flood Prevention Cenotaph station on Youyi Road can get to the area directly.
Take cable at No. 218 Tongjiang Street to the Sun Island scenic area. A single cable ticket costs 50 yuan per person and a round trip cable ticket costs 80 yuan per person.