Every January, the ice-topped lake in Hwacheon County, Gangwon-do transforms into the venue for one of the largest seasonal festivals in Korea. The area renowned for its crystal clean habitat for mountain trout has welcomed more than 1 million visitors annually -- to shiver with excitement in the world of silver covered with snow and ice -- over just a three-week period.
|Anyone can try ice fishing for mountain trout at the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival (photo courtesy of Hwacheon County Nara Festival Organizing Committee). |
Following the cancellation of the 2011 festival earlier this year, the much-awaited comeback of the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival in 2012 is set to kick off on January 7, under the slogan “Unfrozen Hearts, Unforgettable Memories.”
During the 23-day run through January 29, anyone from young children to first-time fishers can try out different types of ice fishing. Once you catch your own trout -- either using lures or your bare hands – you can bring them to one of the many cooking spots around you. The chefs will prepare your catch so you can give it a taste on the spot, grilled or raw according to your preference.
As in past years, other winter activities such as bobsleigh, ice or snow sledding, and ice soccer will be offered alongside various kinds of artistic performances, crafts, and snow sculptures at Hope Lights Street, where you can make a new year’s wish.
|Those with an adventurous spirit willing to tolerate the plummeting temperatures are invited to dive into the icy water pond and embrace the biting cold to grab a fish with their bare hands (photos courtesy of Hwacheon County Nara Festival Organizing Committee). |The Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival is recognized as one of the best festivals in Korea as designated by Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and has steadily extended its reach internationally. In November this year, the world-famous travel guide Lonely Planet selected Hwacheon’s Ice Festival as one of the 7 wonders of winter, also joined by the northern lights of Canada, Sweden’s reindeer migration, and icebound St Petersburg. On December 1, CNN also featured in-depth coverage of the 7 wonders of winter, introducing the Sancheoneo Festival in its Holiday Travel section. To read the article, click here: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/01/travel/7-wonders-of-winter-lp. Admission costs 12,000 won for adults and students over 12 year-old, and 8,000 won for primary school students and foreign nationals. A gift certificate equivalent to 5,000 won is also provided with a single ticket purchase. Visitors can freely use the gift certificate when buying agricultural specialties and indigenous products of the region at the designated booths. By Hwang DanaKorea.net Staff Writer