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Visitors stand outside a church made entirely of snow and ice in southern Bavaria on Jan. 14, in Mitterfirmiansreut, Germany.
Local enthusiasts built the church at the end of December in an effort to relive a tradition dating back over 100 years.
In 1910 the residents of Mitterfirminsreut were cut off from their local parish by a heavy snowstorm, and since the village was without its own church, they were unable to attend Christmas mass.
Then in January of 1911, in an act meant in protest against local authorities whom they felt had forgotten them, the residents built their own church out of the material they had most in abundance at the time: snow.
This year the snow church, backed by a local association, is scheduled to stand through February and has quickly become a local tourist attraction.
Sheng Li / Reuters
Winter is embraced at the annual festival in northeastern China, which opened on Jan. 5, 2012.