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Materials are provided by "Travel China weekly newspaper"
Text by Gong Liren
A new century is approaching quietly. How do you prepare to meet the dawn of the new millennium? Among the various celebration activities, Harbin, known as a "city of ice" in Northeast China, is holding a unique welcoming ceremony.

On December 31, 1999, Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang Province, will invite tourists from all corners of the world to enjoy themselves in an ice and snow fairyland with singing and dancing.

A large-scale ice and snow project-Songhua River Ice and Snow World - will unfold. It combines entertainment and dissemination of learning. It can be called an "Ice and Snow Disney Amusement Park."

Jointly sponsored by the China National Tourism Administration and the Harbin municipal government, the opening ceremony of the Harbin Land Century Tour will be held amidst a world of jade-like ice and snow sculptures. Harbin is one of the ten important cities for celebrating the coming of the new millennium in China.

The Songhua Rive Ice and Snow World is located on the sandy beach of the Songhua Rive in the city proper and covers an area of 280,000 square meters. Local artisans will use 70,000 cubic meters of ice and 130,000 cubic meters of snow to carve 10,000 pieces of ice and snow works. It will open to the public for eight weeks starting from January 1,2000.

Harbin people love ice and snow and have a tradition to make ice and snow carvings Many people from southern Chine and Southeastern Asia come to Harbin every winter to appreciate ice lanterns and snow scenery.

ice and snow fairyland

ice and snow fairyland

Local artists assimilate strong points of Chinese and Western gardening to present a variety of ice and snow patterns. The scenic area features ice and snow sculptures of magnificent buildings and exquisite views. It also has ice in colored patterns, low-temperature fountains, artificial snowfall and lighting employing new technologies and techniques of expression. It presents a dream-like, poetic, crystal and changeable fairyland.

The ice and snow world divides in four districts. The first district is named the "Voice of the Century," the venue for the celebrating ceremony of the of 2000. Its major ice buildings include the gate of the century to usher in a new era, the Millennium-Dragon sculpture to pray for good luck and happiness for the Chinese people. In the center of the district is a huge stage made of ice in patterns of an European-style bell tower with a traditional Chinese archway. During the eight weeks of display, literary and art organizations from all corners of the country will give theatrical performances on the stage.

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