In Pictures

In pictures: Preparations for Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival 2016

The annual Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival takes place in China's north-eastern province of Heilongjiang and is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people to see the sculptures.

Image copyright Wang Zhao / AFP
Image caption The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival officially opens on 5 January but preparations have been under way for some time.
Image copyright Wu Hong / EPA
Image caption The festival began in 1963 but was not held for many years before beginning again in 1985. This year's theme is Pearl on the Crown of Ice & Snow.
Image copyright Wu Hong / EPA
Image caption Workers have been putting the finishing touches to many of the sculptures.
Image copyright Sheng Li / Reuters
Image caption This large sculpture began to take shape in December as workers carved it out of the ice.
Image copyright Aly Song / Reuters
Image caption Here a worker polishes a delicate ice sculpture...
Image copyright Aly Song / Reuters
Image caption ....while others are lifted by crane to the top of one of the larger pieces on show.
Image copyright Wu Hong
Image caption The ice is cut from the nearby river and teams from different countries take part in the event.
Image copyright Imaginechina / Rex Features
Image caption At night, the ice is illuminated with colourful light that draws tourists from all over the world.

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