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Harbin Holidays Overview
Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang province which is located in North East China.Harbin is a populous city which is home to more than ten million people. The city is situated on the banks of the Songhua River and is considered to be the tenth largest city in China. Harbin also functions as an important political, economic and cultural center of the North East of China.
Like the city of Dalian which is also located in North East China, Harbin also displays considerable Russian influence as many white Russian monarchists sought refuge in the city after the Russian Civil War of 1918. Harbin had in fact been exposed to the Russians even before this time, as in 1898 the Russian had started work here on the Chinese Eastern Railway which was an extension of the Trans-Siberian Railway. This railway had shortened the travel distance to Vladivostok and created a link to Dalian and Russian naval base at Port Arthur.
After the Russians were defeated in the Russo-Japanese War in 1904-1905 Harbin was exposed to the influence of various other countries like the US, Germany and France as many people from these countries moved to Harbin. At this time 16 Western countries also set up their consulates in Harbin as they set up various companies in this north-eastern China.The Chinese also established various industries in Harbin at this time like the beer brewing, native foods and the textiles industries and Harbin achieved the status of an international city during this time.
After the Russian Civil War, Harbin became a refuge for Russian émigrés who came here in droves. The Japanese captured Harbin in February, 1932 and in 1935 the Russians sold the Chinese Eastern Railway to the Japanese. This prompted the exodus of the Russian émigrés from Harbin who either moved to Shanghai or emigrated to USA or Australia but they left their distinct mark on the city which is visible until today.
The Russians once again arrived in Harbin in 1945 when the Soviet Army captured in the city. During this time, the Russian émigrés who were based here were forcibly transferred back to the Communist Soviet Union. Other westerners who were based in Harbin also moved out during this time and the Russian troops finally departed from the city a few months later in April 1946 when the Soviet Army transferred the administration of the city to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
Today there are hardly any Russians left in this predominantly Chinese city but there are many Russian monuments and buildings that exist in Harbin which bear evidence to their occupation of this North Eastern Chinese city through the ages.
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holidays - Top Events
Harbin International Snow and Ice Festival
Harbin enjoys extreme climate due to its northerly location, while temperatures in Harbin during the summer months hover around 20ºC, these temperatures plunge during the winter months of January and February when temperatures in Harbin tend to average around -17ºC and sometimes even drop to as low as -38°C. These conditions are ideal for the hosting of the famous Harbin International Snow and Ice Festival. This festival usually kick offs on the 5th of January and extends over a month and includes the Ice Lantern Festival. During the Harbin International Snow and Ice festival, massive, beautifully carved ice sculptures are created all over Harbin to celebrate the festival. These ice sculptures attract tourists from all over the world. The Ice Lantern Festival also features snow sculptures and during this festival these sculptures are usually illuminated by lights which are placed inside the sculpture.
Harbin International Beer Festival
This festival is held in August every year on the famous Zhongyang Pedestrian Street in Harbin. The festival features the famous Harbin brewed beer which is exported from the city of Harbin to several countries around the globe. This festival also features music concerts and dance contests as well as international beer tent.
Harbin Summer Music Festival
This festival is held every two years in the month of July. This festival which extends over 10 days features several free music concerts where both Chinese and international artists perform.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like Air China, China Eastern, Korean Air, Cathay Pacific,Asiana Airlines all offer air links from Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne to Harbin. The flight time of these journeys however depends on the route that you choose to take and the stops that you are compelled to make.
Australia does not have a diplomatic mission in Harbin but the country has its embassy in Beijing and has consulates in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.