Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival (冰雪大世界) By far Harbin’s biggest claim to fame is famous for massive and beautifully carved sculptures of snow while the latter is famous for large ice buildings and statues constructed with lights inside that make them glow. January 5th, lasts from until about end of February when warm weather melts the ice (exact dates vary). These two-month-long events cover Chinese Spring Festival and Lantern Festival within the duration. While smaller ice and snow lanterns can be found all over the city, there are 3 major sites with large scale lanterns being displayed:
- Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Fair (太阳岛国际雪雕艺术博览会), Located on Sun Island, northside of the river (Just a few steps from the Sun Island gondola station or just cross the frozen river by feet). 8am-5pm. Beautifully carved snow sculptures, massive dimensions. All other activities in the Park are extra. Admission ~ RMB 240.
- Ice and Snow World (冰雪大世界), Northside of the river, west from Sun Island. 9am-9:30pm. Large buildings and sculptures made of ice. Best viewed after sunset. Admission ~ RMB 300 (or ~ RMB 150 before 12:00pm).
- Ice Festival, Zhaolin Park (冰雪游园会, 兆麟公园), Located in the city center at Zhaolin Park, southside of the river. 1:30pm-9:30pm. Rather small lanterns compared to the other two main festivals. Best viewed after dusk. Admission ~ RMB 200.
International Beer Festival (哈尔滨国际啤酒节). Held in late August of every year, a whole public square is cordoned off and there are stages that host music concerts, dance contests. Most of the beer drunk is the local Harbin brew, but there is a tent for international beers. .
Summer Music Festival (哈尔滨之夏音乐节). Held every two years in July, this festival is organized by the city and brings in Chinese bands for free concerts held in the city square.