Nice and Icy in Shenyang
Every winter, Shenyang throws one of China’s best snow festivals. At the Shenyang International Ice and Snow Festival giant snow sculptures – seriously, these things are works of art – are all lit up at night and are simply breathtaking.
The festival starts whenever Shenyang’s winter season begins, often in December, and is marked by a big opening ceremony. The festival can last up to a month, and has started to become a big tourist draw. Looking at the magnificent detailed palaces, temples and creatures carved from ice and snow, I can see why.
Performances include circus acts, dragon dances, and shows by the local Man ethnic community, as well as lantern fairs – enough to keep the whole family happy. Plus there are tons of winter sports happening too.
I like to beat the crowds and head up the mountain in the afternoon and enjoy some fun and games in the Shenyang snow. The organisers designate areas for alpine skiing, dog sledding rides and even snow surfing. Then later, after I’ve seen the sculptures, I find there’s nothing better than ice-skating after dark.