Excitement was brewing in the northern Chinese city of Harbin on Friday, as the wintery city geared up for the world's largest snow and ice festival.
As many as 2019 decorated snowmen lined up along the frozen Songhua River.
Artists and workers applied the finishing touches to their elaborate icy castles.
Tourists from across the country flock to Harbin for the annual month-long festival, which dates back to 1983.
It features an ice swimming competition, ice sculpture contest and mass weddings.
Harbin is one of China's coldest cities, where temperatures can drop as low as 31 below zero.
This year, the festival runs from January 5 to February 5.