Tourists visit the Ice-Snow World in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Jianwei
Tourists visit the Ice-Snow World in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Jianwei
A tourist plays the ice slide at the Zhaolin Park in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Jan. 5, 2018. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Kai
A tourist plays the ice slide at the Zhaolin Park in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Jan. 5, 2018. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Kai
Tourists visit ice sculptures illuminated by coloured lights at the Zhaolin Park in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Kai
Tourists visit ice sculptures illuminated by coloured lights at the Zhaolin Park in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Kai
Tourists visit the Ice-Snow World in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Jianwei
Tourists visit the Ice-Snow World in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Jianwei
Tourists visit the Ice-Snow World in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Jianwei
Tourists visit the Ice-Snow World in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Jianwei
Tourists visit the Ice-Snow World in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Jianwei
Tourists visit the Ice-Snow World in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Jianwei
Tourists visit the Ice-Snow World in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Jianwei
Tourists visit the Ice-Snow World in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Jianwei
Tourists visit the Ice-Snow World in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Jianwei
Tourists visit the Ice-Snow World in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. Picture: Xinhua/Wang Jianwei

Harbin, China - Wearing extravagant white gowns and black suits under thick fur coats, dozens of Chinese couples have braved freezing temperatures to tie the knot at the Harbin International Ice Festival in north China.

The mass wedding, which saw 34 couples exchange vows in one of the country's coldest places, was part of the 34th edition of the festival that began on Friday.

"Our encounter was an act of fate. We met in a cafe and experienced ups and downs in the past year. But snow is pure, just like our love," said Zhou Yilu, a 26-year-old bride from the city of Liaocheng.

"I feel like this is a very good and new beginning for us," she said, adding that she hoped she and her new husband would "cherish each other and be happy forever".

The theme of this year's festival is "Ice Snow Blooming Garden, Fantastic World".

The festival also hosted an international ice sculpture contest, where more than 60 participants from 14 countries put their creativity to the test, carving intricate sculptures such as a phoenix, elk and castles.

There has also been a swimming competition with more than 600 participants braving an icy plunge.

The Harbin festival, which draws several million tourists from across China and further afield each year, continues with various activities and shows until the snow begins to melt in February.