Image: Preparation for the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

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Giant ice sculptures glow in hot neon at winter festival

More than 2,000 ice sculptures are on display in Harbin in frigid northeast China.

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Image: 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

An ice sculpture created by Mongolian artists is displayed at the Harbin Ice-Snow World on Jan. 19. 

The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival opened in early January and runs through late February. 

Wang Jianwei / Zuma Press
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Image: The 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

Visitors walk through an ice maze on Jan. 6.

Wu Hong / EPA
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Image: The 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

The sculptures are made from 180,000 cubic meters (240,000 cubic yards) of ice collected from the Songhua River by nearly a thousand workers. 

Wu Hong / EPA
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Image: Ice sculpture competition of the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

Participants carve their entries for an international ice sculpture competition on Jan. 6.

34 teams from 12 countries participated in the contest.

Wu Hong / EPA
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Image: Opening of the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

Considered the world's largest ice festival, last year's event drew 18 million visitors. 

Wu Hong / EPA
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Image: CHINA-LEISURE-SNOW-ICE

Temperatures at this time of the year in Harbin can dip below zero Fahrenheit (minus 18 Celsius).

Greg Baker / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: CHINA-LEISURE-SNOW-ICE

In addition to ice sculpture competitions, the festival also includes winter swimming, ice hockey, skiing and snow biking.

Greg Baker / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: Opening of the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

Fireworks light up the sky during the opening of the festival on Jan. 5. 

Wu Hong / EPA
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Image: Opening of the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

A train carries visitors through the park on Jan. 5. 

Wu Hong / EPA
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Image: Preparation for the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

First held in 1963, the festival was interrupted for a number of years during the Cultural Revolution and didn't return until 1985. This is the 34th festival. 

Wu Hong / EPA
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Image: Preparation for the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

Visitors pass onion domes topped with crosses.

Ice sculptures of Moscow's Red Square and Bangkok's Temple of the Emerald Buddha are among the landmarks featured at the festival. 

Wu Hong / EPA
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Image: 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival

A 115-foot high sculpture looms over visitors on Jan. 5.

Wu Hong / EPA
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Image: People prepare a snow sculpture for the Harbin Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Harbin

Workers prepare the giant sculpture on Dec. 10, 2017.

The Week in Pictures: Jan. 11 - 18

China Stringer Network / Reuters
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