Fireworks explode over enormous ice sculptures at the opening ceremony in Harbin city, China's northern Heilongjiang province, on Jan. 5, 2017.
The festival has been held since 1963. However, it was interrupted for a number of years during the Cultural Revolution and made a come-back in 1985. This is the 33rd festival.
People visit the ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights at the festival on Jan. 5.
Visitors line up to enter a castle-like structure on Dec. 31.
The festival holds the Guinness World Record for the largest snow sculpture which measured 115 feet tall and 656 feet long when it was created in 2007. A team of 600 sculptors from 40 different countries used 120,000 cubic feet of snow to create the sculpture which was an Olympic-themed landscape.
The sculptures range from animals and cartoon characters to replicas of famous world monuments and landscapes, as well as a 1,115-foot-long slide that state media say took around 500 builders to complete.
The festival which is popular with both locals and tourist attracted over a million visitors last year.
Some 180,000 cubic meters of ice and 150,000 cubic meters of snow were used to build the 800,000-square-meter Harbin ice and snow world.
Harbin is an ideal venue for the festival as temperatures can fall to 13 degrees Fahrenheit.
Swimmers dive into a pool cut from the frozen riverbank as part of a winter swimming competition during the festival on Jan 5.
People visit the ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights on Jan 5.
People walk through a section of the ice installations on Jan. 5.
A giant Kuanyin snow sculpture on display at the festival on Jan. 5.