Zhaolin Park (Ice Lantern Show)

Written by ivana Updated Jun. 28, 2021

Located in Harbin in the district of Daoli, Zhaolin Park is popular around the world for its famous ice lantern exhibition. The park attracts thousands of tourists for the annual Ice and Snow Festival.

Zhaolin Park was the first-ever park to be built in the city. It had been created to commemorate General Li Zhaolin. Built-in the year 1900, the Harbin Zhaolin Park was originally called Daoli Park. It received its present name in the year 1946.

After its improvements were done in 1985, Zhaolin Park is a beautiful park with nice scenery. The Huaguo Mountain is located on the east while the Meigui Mountain is located on its west. Towards the south is the Xiaonan Islet while in the north lies the glass flower cellar. In the center of the park is an artificial lake with five bridges that link the area cleverly.

Attractions in Summer

Zhaolin Park is home to a fish and flower exhibition hall, skate land, children’s playground, an open-air theater, arbors, Dingxiang Garden and Yingyue Garden.

It offers a lot of relaxation and entertainment options. Trees and flowers of the four seasons have been planted in the park. Due to the unique climate, there is two distinct nature of natural beauty that can be found in Harbin Zhaolin Park.

During the summer and spring months, the park has flowers blooming, twittering birds, and great sunshine. It has many charming gardens such as the clove garden, south greenhouse garden, reflecting moonlight garden, and northern garden.

Attractions in Winter (Ice Lantern Show)

Harbin Zhaolin Park hosts the ice lantern show and the annual snow and ice festival each year during the winter months. During the nighttime, the ice lanterns displayed in the park combined action, sound, and light to create a magical scenery with plenty of colors. The fanciful and vivid designs reflect scenes from around the world. The snow and ice festival displays the creativity, use of modern technology, and science to create exquisitely carved snow and ice artwork in various shapes and forms.

The First Ice Lantern Show was held in 1963. During the Cultural Revolution, it was canceled off and on but resumed permanently in 1985. It is held in the Zhaolin Park every winter and covers an area of 6.5 hectares. About 1500 works are annually on show, with about 2000 cubic blocks of ice used. It has been developed into a large-scale outdoor Ice Lantern Exhibition that invites artists from all over China and the world, exploring a new theme each year.

A yearly activity for Harbin, past themes have included tributes to Communist-era leaders, the Seven World Wonders, and most recently in 2007 a Canadian theme to Canadian doctor Norman Bethune who helped the Chinese during the Sin-Japanese War. The scenery of ice blocks run through with neon lights used to create the largest ice sculptures in the world is an amazing one.

Harbin's artists use ice to create all kinds of ice-sculpture works of art, from the small self-portraits found throughout the city, to the Guinness Book of World Records holder for largest ice sculpture, a monument to Niagara Falls built last year which was 250 meters long, 28 feet high, and used over 13,000 cubic meters of snow. With some modern technological means, artists and craftsmen turn pieces of natural ice into many fines and vivid ice-lantern works of art. The whole park is changed into an ice world and a lantern sea. Every year, there are new changes in the Ice Lantern Show. It's therefore referred to as "a non-repetitive fairy tale forever" by locals.

These are 3D ice paintings and replicas of famous monuments from around the world. The festival showcases ice buildings, ice pavilions, corridors, bridges, and towers completely made from ice. When the lights are put on in the evenings, the entire park comes alive in glittering and shimmering beauty. 

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