Winter Arrives

Although much of the U.S. and Europe has had a largely snowless winter to
date, the temperature has finally started to feel seasonal and snowfall will
certainly follow. Other parts of the northern hemisphere have been
experiencing more wintry weather, such as Harbin, China, which opens its
famous Ice Festival tomorrow, January 5. From the Far East to the
Mississippi River, from Moscow to Stonehenge, here are some recent chilly
scenes from around the world. [42 photos total]

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A horse carriage carrying tourists travels past ice sculptures during a lighting test for the the 13th Harbin Ice and Snow World in Harbin, China, on December 25, 2011. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will be officially launched on January 5, 2012. (Reuters/Sheng Li) #
A leaf, covered in frost on November 13, 2011 at the "Planten un Blomen" park in Hamburg, Germany. (Christian Charisius/AFP/Getty Images) #
A picture taken on December 19, 2011 in Bocognano in Corsica shows the Punta di l'Oriente mountain range covered by snow. (Pascal Pochard-Casabianca/AFP/Getty Images) #
Two women racers compete during the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup Dual Moguls in Meribel, France, on December 20, 2011. (Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images) #
Denis Dolgodorov of Russia and Mikael Kingsbury of Canada compete during the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup Dual Moguls on December 20, 2011 in Meribel, France. (Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images) #
Windy and freezing weather over the last few days worked to splash water from the Mississippi River onto plants across from Alton, Illinois, forming an icy sculpture in the Lincoln Shields Recreational Area, on January 3, 2012. Every branch or blade of grass within 15 feet of the river showed icy buildup from the crashing water. Temperatures are expected to moderate slightly in the Alton area as the week progresses, reaching highs in the mid to upper 40's. (AP Photo/The Telegraph, John Badman) #
Visitors stand in front of a blue-lit church built of snow, during its opening in Mitterfirmiansreut, Germany, on December 28, 2011. The church was opened in the Bavarian Forest two weeks later than planned. (AP Photo/dapd, Lukas Barth) #
Visitors stand in a snow church just after its inauguration on December 28, 2011 in Mitterfirmiansreut, Germany. The church is made of 1,400 cubic meters of snow and aims to commemorate the winter of the years 1910/1911, when so much snow fell that believers of Mitterfirmiansreut were no more able to go to church in the neighboring commune of Mauth. So they decided to build their own church, made of snow. (Armin Weigel/AFP/Getty Images) #
A dog makes his way through the snow near in the southern German town of Unterjoch on December 25, 2011. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/AFP/Getty Images) #
Hardy Dutch swimmers brave the icy North Sea on January 1, 2012 in Scheveningen, Netherlands. A record number of 10,000 people took the plunge in this year's traditional New Year's dip. The high turnout was attributed to the mild weather with a sea temperature of 8 degrees Celsius (46 F) compared to 4 degrees last year. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images) #
Thousands celebrate the New Year by jumping into the chilly North Sea during the traditional New Year's Dive in the beach resort of Scheveningen, near The Hague, Netherlands, on January 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) #
A horse and red barn in a field just south of Walla Walla, Washington, are framed in icy spikes as heavy frost clings to the metal rectangles of a fence, on December 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Jeff Horner) #
A flock of starlings flies over a Christmas tree as night falls in Rome, Italy, on December 23, 2011. Thousands of starlings gather each fall and winter in the Italian capital, putting aerial displays over the city. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images) #
Vehicles drive during sunrise in the Taiga area along the M54 Krasnoyarsk - Mongolia highway, with the air temperature at about - 27 degrees C (-16.6 degrees F), some 120 km (75 mi) south of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, on December 14, 2011. (Reuters/Ilya Naymushin) #
A woman dances as druids, pagans and revelers take part in a winter solstice ceremony at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, on December 22, 2011. The unseasonable warm weather encouraged a larger than normal crowd to gather at the famous historic stone circle to celebrate the sunrise closest to the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images) #
Druids, pagans and revelers cheer as the sun rises at Stonehenge on December 22, 2011 in Wiltshire, England. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images) #
A boy makes his way up a hill, carrying his sled in Bowling Green, Ohio, on January 2, 2012. The area received a couple inches of snow marking it as the first accumulation of snow this winter season. (AP Photo/Sentinel-Tribune, J.D. Pooley) #
Children play on a snow sculpture during the 2nd Snow Sculpture Festival in Hulun Buir, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, on December 18, 2011. The snow sculpture festival kicked off in Hailar on Friday and attracted many visitors. (Reuters/China Daily) #
Branches of a tree still bearing some fruit are covered in snow on December 20, 2011 in Gaiberg near Heidelberg, Germany. (Daniel Roland/AFP/Getty Images) #
A snowkiter glides through the snowy landscape near Marktoberdorf, Germany, on December 18, 2011. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/AFP/Getty Images) #
A giant lantern burns at the close of the Burning The Clocks Festival on Brighton Beach in Brighton, England, on December 21, 2011. The annual celebration is enjoyed by thousands of people who carry paper lanterns through the streets, culminating on Brighton Beach where the lanterns are burnt and the Winter Solstice is marked. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) #
A snow-covered landscape near Ebenhofen, Germany, on December 19, 2011. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/AFP/Getty Images) #
A young boy looks out of a window at the snow covering LaPorte, Indiana, on December 27, 2011. (AP Photo/LaPorte Herald Argus, Bob Wellinski) #
A winter swimmer with a mop jumps into the icy water of the Songhua River in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, on December 26, 2011. (Reuters/Sheng Li) #
A photo taken on December 14, 2011 shows a reindeer ice sculpture in the Santa Park near Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images) #
People build snowmen and ride a sled in Kolomenskoye, a historical and nature reserve museum in Moscow, on January 1, 2012. (Reuters/Denis Sinyakov) #
A squirrel sits on a snow covered branch in a park during a heavy snowfall in Sofia, Bulgaria, on December 22, 2011. (Nikolay Doychinov/AFP/Getty Images) #
Jack Mathis, 4, is hit with a snowball as his father, Mark Mathis, prepares another during a family snowball fight on December 24, 2011 outside of their house in Odessa, Texas. (AP Photo/Odessa American, Albert Cesare) #
A layer of protective ice covers a new strawberry blossom in a field on January 4, 2012, in Dover, Florida. Farmers spray a coating of water over their plants to help keep them from freezing damage. Temperatures in central Florida dipped into the 20's overnight. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) #
People watch starlings come home to roost on Brighton's Old Pier as the sun sets on December 21, 2011 in Brighton, England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) #
Two local residents row on a boat through a frosty fog as they cross the Shumikha Bay of the Yenisei River, with the air temperature at about minus 23 degrees C (minus 9.4 F), some 53 km (33 mi) south of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, on December 13, 2011. (Reuters/Ilya Naymushin) #
Layers of ice coat railings along the South Pier in St. Joseph, Michigan, on January 3, 2012. (AP Photo/The Herald-Palladium, Don Campbell) #
Michael Montes plays in the snow with his son Diego, 5, as they take a ride down a hill at the Coronado Country Club, in El Paso, Texas, on December 23, 2011. (AP Photo/The El Paso Times, Mark Lambie) #
A tourist licks the outside wall of the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras mountains, 300km (184 miles) northwest of Bucharest, Romania, on December 28, 2011. Entirely made of ice, the hotel offers accommodation in 10 double rooms with king size beds, where the temperature is between -2 and +2 degrees Celsius, at a price of 35 Euro ($45.73) per person. (Reuters/Radu Sigheti) #
Frost covers blades of grass embedded in a newly-frozen pond in Eugene, Oregon, on December 13, 2011. (AP Photo/The Register-Guard, Kevin Clark) #
Arlissa Van Hoogen, from Texas, takes photographs of ice formations at the Ice Castles at Silverthorne in Colorado, on January 3, 2012. The Ice Castles at Silverthorne consist of man-made walkways, tunnels, and arches of ice with no supporting structures, some reaching up to a height of 30 to 40 feet (9 to 12 meters). These formations are illuminated at night by 200 florescent lights. (Reuters/Nathan W. Armes) #
Italy's Patrick Thaler clears a gate during the first run of the men's slalom World Cup race in Flachau, Austria, on December 21, 2011. (Reuters/Dominic Ebenbichler) #
A member of a local winter swimming club takes a bath in the Yenisei River, with the air temperature at about minus 20 degrees C (minus four degrees F) in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, on December 18, 2011. (Reuters/Ilya Naymushin) #
Members of Chapel Royal Choirboys choir skate during a photocall at the Hampton Court Ice Rink on December 19, 2011 in London, England. The event was aimed at highlighting a new charity, "The Choral Foundation", which is hoping to raise £1.5M GBP to fund choir led music lessons for the choristers and the refurbishment of the historic organ in the Chapel. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) #
A tourist poses for a photograph in front of a snow sculpture depicting the famous painting "Barge Haulers on the Volga" ahead of the 13th Harbin Ice and Snow World in Harbin, China, on December 26, 2011. (Reuters/Sheng Li) #
A visitor sleds down a snow slope near ice sculptures during a test of the lights for the 13th Harbin Ice and Snow World in Harbin, China, on December 25, 2011. (Reuters/Sheng Li) #
Visitors view buildings made from blocks of ice for the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang province, on January 4, 2012. The festival is scheduled to officially open on Thursday night, January 5. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

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