Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday celebrated on the first day of the year of the Chinese calendar. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the “Lunar New Year”. The Chinese New Year in 2014 is celebrated on Friday, Jan. 31, marking the beginning of the Year of the Horse in the Chinese zodiac.
Fireworks light up the sky during the opening ceremony of the International Ice and Snow festival held in Harbin, north-east China. Each of the buildings you can see in the distance is made of ice.
While the U.S. shivers while in the grip of a ‘polar vortex’ which has seen temperatures plummet to -26C, in China they are celebrating the winter temperatures with a spectacular ice sculpture festival.
The 30th Harbin Ice and Snow Festival has now opened its doors to tourists to come and gaze at the colourful creations made entirely from blocks of ice.
The annual festival, in north-eastern China, displays the incredibly detailed structures, which took some 10,000 workers, and about 330,000 cubic metres of snow and ice to build. This year’s festivities feature the theme ‘Global Ice and Snow Dream, World Cartoon Tour’.