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Stunning Ice And Snow Sculptures Set To Go On Show
The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival begins next week (CCSS Level: Grade 7, Words: 336)
Dec 16, 2016 Culture & Entertainment
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Harbin's ice and snow sculpture festival, which dates back to 1983, is the largest and probably best of its kind in the world and attracts thousands of visitors every year. The annual International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival kicks off next week. The soft launch will allow early-birds to see many of the spectacular ice and snow sculptures early, but the month-long festival doesn't officially begin until January 5.

The sculptures are assembled and carved out of giant blocks of ice taken from the nearby frozen Songhua River. This year, visitors will be stunned by the scale and beauty of a 103-metre long, 31-metre tall structure that will dominate the famous show. The amazing artwork, titled 'Love Song', is almost as tall as the Tower of London and is made completely out of ice. Around 100 artists have been working non-stop for 10 days to complete the huge work in time for next-week's start.

Sculptors use chisels, ice picks and electric saws to create the intricate large-scale ice sculptures on show. The work continues day and night to make sure that the artworks are ready for the festival on time. Multi-coloured Lights are also used to illuminate the ice, creating spectacular effects to amaze and delight the throngs who descend on the city each year. However sculptures are not the only attraction, with horse and sleigh rides, toboggans and giant ice-slides, as well as skiing and winter swimming all available.

The ice from the Songhua River is trucked in by 50 workers over three weeks. It takes that long to collect enough ice for the sculptors to work with. Harbin is bitterly cold at this time of year, with temperatures falling as low as -30 C. The workers use electric saws to cut the ice into huge blocks that are lifted onto trucks to take them to the site. Water is then used to "glue" the blocks back together so that the carvers can then create their masterpieces.

The article calls people who come to see the show before it is officially opened as...
soft launch
visitors
early-birds
throngs
What makes the blocks of ice taken from the river stay together once they are assembled?
glue
frozen water
snow
ice picks
For how long does the festival last?
33 years
two months
one month
all winter
Of the extra activities available, which would qualify as an "extreme sport"?
tobogganing
winter swimming
ice sliding
horse riding
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a-ma-zing

makes you surprised


adj.惊人

an-nu-al

happening every year


adj.年度/全年

as-sem-bled

get together or put together the parts


v.组装

at-trac-tion

a place which draws visitors


n.引力

a-vai-la-ble

able to be used


adj.可用的

bit-ter-ly

extreme, biting


adj.苦涩

chi-sels

tools with a sharp edge used to shape hard materials


n.凿子

com-plete

to finish, end 


v.完成

com-plet-ly

totally, entirely


adv.完全

con-ti-nue

go on and on


v.继续

con-tin-ues

keeps on going


v.继续

do-mi-nate

most important; exercise control over


v.支配/主宰

fal-ling

dropping, going down


v.落下

fa-mous  

well known


adj.著名

fes-ti-val

a day or time when people have a holiday and celebrate a special event


n.节日

il-lu-mi-nate

light up


v.照亮/发光

in-ter-na-tion-al

existing between two or more countries


adj.国际

locks

a short piece of a canal in which the water level can be raised or lowered/a fastening (as for a door) operated by a key or a combination


n.锁/闸

ma-ster-piece

a work of great skill, the best work


n.杰作/名著

of-fi-cial-ly

authorized or allowed


adj.正式

scale

the size of something


n.规模

sculp-tors

artists who carve shapes in 3-D


n.雕塑家    

sculp-ture

art made in 3-D from wood, stone, metal etc


n.雕塑

spec-tac-u-lar

beautiful, eye-catching


adj.壮观

tem-per-a-ture

how hot something is


n.温度

tem-pe-ra-tures

the amount of heat in something


n.温度

throngs

large densely packed crowds


n.人群

trucked

carried by truck


v.载货卡车