Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival

By Kalina Ewing

Not ready to spend your days stuck indoors when you visit Korea? Make sure you check out the fabulous Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival that runs January 5-27, 2019. The Festival celebrates the local freshwater trout know as Sancheoneo.  Located in the in the beautiful, mountain town of Hwancheon, the festival starts with an opening ceremony at 4 pm local time in front of Eolgomi castle. The main event is the ice fishing since every winter the river here freezes over 30 cm it is safe to drill holes to allow for large crowds to safely fish. Be sure to check the type of lures allowed or not allowed on site as well as if it is a reserved or unreserved area.

Ice fishing is not the only type of fishing activity done if you don’t wish to catch fish with a pole. There is a pool of water dug into the ice to allow for barehanded catching of fish.  You are given specific clothing that must be worn when doing this activity so do not worry about getting your own clothing wet.

Besides the fishing be sure to check out the many other attractions. At Eolgomi castle you can check out the wonderful snow and ice sculptures, you can send a letter to Santa or make some origami for free. Winter activities to keep you warm include sliding down ice slides on inner tubes, sledding, ice skating, ice soccer, bubble suit game on ice, a zip line and there are many other games and rides.

If your feeling creative, be sure to look into and possibly participate in the creative Ice Sled Contest. Prizes are awarded for overall practicality, creativity, and performance. Even if you do not enter if you have a chance to watch this event it is one you will not want to miss it. All these activities are sure to whet your appetite so be sure to check out the food available at the festival. You can eat the fish you caught either sashimi style or have it grilled.

If you do not wish to catch the fish for your meal then there are many other places to eat. There is the Sancheoneo Restaurant, local snack food courts near Chulleong bring and several cafeterias located throughout the festival. There is also 3 Farmers market sites if you are looking to take home some of the locally grown products. There are many other things to see and do. For a full list of things to do, prices and full information about the festival please check their website here. http://www.narafestival.com/ice_eng/. If you have the time and wish to check out other winter festivals here is a link to an article with information on 5 Festivals in Korea to Check Out This Winter”.  After all your outdoor activities and you want to warm or anytime you feel like you need to cozy up with a warm cup; check out our wonderful tea and coffee box created especially for this winter season.

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