Harbin’s Winter Wonderland

Casey Chan of Gizmodo posted A Winter Wonderland in China with two photos of The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, which is located in Northeast China where the average winter temperature is a (minus) – 16.8 degrees Celsius.  The Festival is held in January.

Wikipedia says the annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival has been held since 1963. 

However, it was interrupted for a few years during the Cultural Revolution until it resumed in 1985.  Mao died in 1976, and it took time for China’s economic engine to build momentum. The fact that the festival resumed in 1985 is a sign of the changes taking place in China.

In the Comment section of Chan’s Gizmodo post, Adam wrote, “China is awesome when it comes to giant decorations and celebrations (just remember the Olympics!), but the people there still have an extremely low quality of life. Why, if they can do some things so well, do they fail at others?”

Sega8800 replied to Adam,” How do you know their life is low quality?”

Adam’s answer was a Wikipedia  link to a post of a 1994 book, China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power. The couple that wrote the book spent five year in China (1988 to 1993) as journalists for the New York Times.

I laughed.

The material for this book is over 17 years old. Time did not stand still. During those years, China transformed itself by rebuilding the old cities while building more than a hundred new ones.

In fact, the standard of living in China has skyrocketed as the middle class expands and grows. Last year, Chinese bought more new cars than Americans did.

Even the lifestyle of peasants in rural China improved and will continue to do so as China extends electricity to rural China, subsidizes appliances for the rural Chinese, builds new roads, airports and railroads, etc.

The embedded videos with this post are of Harbin and previous festivals.

Learn of China’s Spring Festival, which comes in February.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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