Stunning Drone Footage from the Harbin Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival

Article by: Laura Mason|@masonlazarus

Sun December 24, 2017 | 11:00 AM

China's chilly Harbin Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival just began, and the interwebs will soon be flooded with photos and videos of the dazzling works of art sculpted from millions of cubic feet of ice from the country's Songhua River.

In 2016, finally someone got smart and brought a drone to the festival in order to produce stunning footage – which you can watch above – of the virtual cities of ice buildings, monuments, and characters in all their bright, white glory during the day, and their rainbow-hued heights at night. As the drone sails through the frozen air, you truly get a sense of the enormity of Harbin as an artistic undertaking. 

It takes more than 15,000 workers to transform the ice and snow into architectural replicas of entire cities, animals, mythical gods and beings, and ice slides. Deionized water is used on some pieces to produce ice as transparent as glass, while the multicolored lights add multi-dimensional depth and beauty. When the festival ends each February, visitors have the chance to smash the sculptures with ice picks.

For more incredible glimpses of the festival's recent creations, watch the video slideshow below.