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Workers and a crane are seen next to a newly-built ice sculpture of a castle ahead of the 30th Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, in Harbin, Heilongjiang province December 27, 2013. According to the festival organizers, nearly 10,000 workers were employed to build the ice and snow sculptures, which require about 180,000 square metres of ice and 150,000 square metres of snow. The festival kicks off on January 5, 2014.
Reuters/Sheng Li
Now taking ice deposits.

An enormous ice castle worthy of China’s biggest bank

By Herman Wong

Everything is bigger in China.

This ice castle—or, ice bank fortress—is perhaps the most spectacular entrant in the 30th annual International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin. A sign hanging outside the sculpture suggests it’s intended to look like a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the nation’s biggest bank.

Harbin first held an ice lantern festival in 1963 and has come to be known for its elaborate snow and ice sculpture festivals.

According to Reuters, nearly 10,000 workers were required to build the sculptures in this year’s festival, using 180,000 square meters of ice and 150,000 square meters of snow. The event starts January 5, 2014.

REUTERS/Sheng Li
Another ice sculpture under construction at the festival.