About 18 couples from Nigeria, Russia and China tied the knots in a freezing cold of minus 20 degrees during a group wedding ceremony at the Chinese city of Harbin Friday.

The ceremony, organized by the city government, was part of the 28th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival 2012, which opened Jan. 5. The show will be on for the next three months.

The group wedding ceremony has been a crucial part of the festival and has seen hundreds of couples exchanging vows since the inception of the ice show in 1985.

During the past 27 years, nearly 1,000 couples from around the world have traveled to Harbin to get married during the Harbin International Snow and Ice Festival, Ren Fumin, deputy director of Harbin Youth Palace, one of the sponsors, was quoted as saying by the China Daily.

The annual festival features numerous snow sculptures spread across the city; these are illuminated every night. The winter festival regularly attracts a number of tourists to the city of Harbin. The sculptures are made of crystal clear ice taken from the Songhua River.

For 2012, Russia is the theme of the festival to mark China's tourism year of Russia and hence, features structures and life-size buildings resembling famous Russian monuments and architecture.

Scroll down to view some of the latest pictures of the group wedding ceremony at Harbin Ice and Snow Festival 2012 and the Russian ice sculptures it features.