The winters in China's northern most province of Heilongjiang are among the most brutal in the northern hemisphere. But residents in the capital city of Harbin not only embrace the frigid temperatures, but celebrate them in the annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.

People visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights during a trial operation of the Harbin Ice and Snow World on Dec. 22, 2014. | (REUTERS/Stringer)

From December to March, the so-called "ice city" welcomes millions of tourists to experience a veritable winter wonderland designed and built by some 10,000 artists and workers. In addition to watching a variety of cold-weather competitions, from ice sailing to swimming, visitors can get lost in a kaleidoscope-colored ice village, whip down ice slides, and marvel at one of the many colossal, castle-sized snow sculptures. Below, enjoy a collection of fantastical photos from recent festivities that show how much fun winter can be.

Jan. 5, 2016. | (REUTERS/Aly Song)

Jan. 5, 2015 | People ride slides on ice sculptures. | (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

Jan. 5, 2016. | (REUTERS/Aly Song)

Jan. 4, 2015 | (FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Jan. 4, 2015 | Visitors use kaleidoscopes to view the winter landscape and ice sculptures. | (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

Jan. 5, 2012 | The sun sets behind a castle made from blocks of ice. | (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Jan. 3, 2011 | A man takes a photo of an ice sculpture on a main street in Harbin. | (REUTERS/David Gray)

Jan. 3, 2010 | People visit an ice sculpture made to look like Rome's Colosseum. | (REUTERS/Aly Song)

Jan. 4, 2014 | A woman is dwarfed by a giant snow sculpture. | (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

Dec. 24, 2009 | People visit an ice sculpture made to look like China's Forbidden City. | (REUTERS/Sheng Li)

Jan. 5, 2011 | Spectators watch fireworks explode over ice sculptures. | (REUTERS/David Gray)