China kicks off month-long winter festival in northern city of Harbin

HARBIN, China (Reuters) – Swimming enthusiast Yu Hongtao, 50, trained for months in the freezing water of the Songhua river to compete in a winter ice swimming tournament held annually in China’s northern city of Harbin, known for its bitterly cold weather. “You have to start swimming from autumn so that the body can conquer the sudden icy impact on one’s cardio-vascular system,” said Yu, a Harbin resident. “The feeling of diving into the water is very cool.” More than 300 men and women, wearing just ordinary trunks and swimsuits,…

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China’s Harbin ice festival in pictures

One of the world’s largest ice festivals has opened in north-eastern China, featuring frozen castles, glistening snow sculptures and lots of snowmen. Image copyright Reuters Image caption The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival officially opened on Saturday. Image copyright EPA Image caption It opened with a fireworks display and a light show. Image copyright EPA Image caption The festival draws millions of visitors from around the world every year. Image copyright EPA Image caption Some 120,000 cubic metres of ice and 111,000 cubic metres of snow have been…

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