Written by the Warrior
In 2013, Disney’s movie Frozen took the world of little girls by storm.
I never did fully understand what it was about this movie or its characters that had so captivated their hearts. Nor did I realize at the time just how wide reaching this was.
Recently on a visit to China, the prominence of Elsa and Anna on dresses of little girls showed that the appeal of Disney princesses is universal and breaks down cultural and language barriers.
And just like the characters of the fictional town of Arendelle, we were positively frozen, in Harbin, the most northerly provincial capital in China.
Harbin, with a population of 10.6 million, is China’s eighth largest city by population. At a latitude of 45th parallel north (comparable to Canada’s Georgian Bay in terms of north-ness), it is a wonderous world of ice and snow for a good portion of the year.
Here is what the Lonely Planet says about the province and it’s capital city…
China’s northernmost province (and capital city)… is known for its subarctic climate… Come January, with it’s -30° C weather and howling Siberian Gales… Welcome, believe it or not, the tourist season. Inquisitive Hong Kong and Taiwanese tourists fly up to fulfill their childhood ambitions of seeing snow, and are reputedly so blown away by the cold that they never set foot north of the tropic of Cancer again.
While it is unmistakenably cold, even by Canadian standards, starting in December of each year, the city is the home to some of the most incredible snow and ice creations…
(Ice and Snow World at Harbin’s Sun Island)
(International Snow Sculpture Art Expo at Harbin’s Sun Island)
(Ice Lantern Art Fair at Harbin’s Zhaolin Park)
… as well as some of the hardiest souls that I have ever met… eating popsicles on the street when it is -20° C.
But, theses are world famous popsicles, and seriously worth every last frosty bite.