|Korea’s Top Winter Festivals of 2014 Hwacheon Sancheoneo (Mountain Trout) Festival|
When Hwacheoncheon Stream freezes in winter, locals and visitors alike flock to the stream, carve out a hole in the ice, and begin ice fishing for sancheoneo (mountain trout). The trout are known to live in cold,
fresh waters of the stream, located in Hwacheon-gun, Gangwon-do Province. Visitors fishing in the stream can be seen patiently waiting, and then jumping with excitement as they pull their catches from the water. Some even jump into the icy waters of the pool built beside the stream for those interested in hand-fishing for sancheoneo.
Sancheoneo fishing is the central activity at the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Festival. There are three ways for visitors to fish at the festival: ice fishing using fishing rods on the frozen stream, lure fishing in the flowing waters using bait, and hand-fishing in a pool wearing a t-shirt and shorts.
Ice fishing is the most popular fishing method at the festival. Around 7,000 people participate in ice fishing during the weekdays, and more than 10,000 on weekends. Upon purchasing an admission ticket, visitors will also receive a fishing zone pass, a plastic bag for carrying sancheoneo, and a 5,000-won Agricultural Specialties coupon for shopping onsite.
* A How-To for Ice Fishing
Each person is limited to three sancheoneo.
☞ Admission: 12,000 won (Fishing zone pass, plastic bag, and 5,000-won coupon included)
Ice fishing tips!
Hand fishing takes place at the festival’s round fishing pool. Participants change into special outfits (festival t-shirt and shorts), and perform a simple warm up exercise. Following the “go” signal, they jump into the pool, and try to catch sancheoneo using their bare hands within three minutes. Each participant is allowed to catch up to three sancheoneo. When the time is up, they walk out of the pool, and warm themselves up with a warm foot bath.
☞ Admission: 12,000 won (Fishing zone pass, t-shirt & shorts rental, plastic bag and 5,000-won coupon included)
** The number of sessions is subject to change without prior notice.
Lure fishing takes place away from the ice, near unfrozen flowing waters. Just as with ice fishing, the use of live bait is prohibited in lure fishing, and each person is limited to three sancheoneo. Participation requires onsite registration, which operates under a first-come, first-served basis (first 250 people).
☞ Admission: 12,000 won (Fishing zone pass, plastic bag, and 5,000 won coupon included)
Snow & Ice Rides
Snow and ice activities are other popular attractions at Hwacheon Sancheoneo Festival. The Ice Fun Park’s Ice Sled Square has a large ice rink for sled rides. There are 1-person sleds, in addition to 3-person family sleds. The Eolgomi (mascot of the festival) Castle, situated in the center of the venue, showcases big snow sculptures, ice slides, and an ice tunnel that leads to a community culture hall. Bobsleighs are also available at the Bobsleigh Tower next to Eolgomi Castle.
Snow Fun Park is also equipped with a snow sledding field featuring a 40m slope and a variety of rides including snow racing. Participation in snow and ice activities usually requires an admission ticket, which can be purchased at ticket offices stationed throughout the festival venue, and activity gear rental fees when necessary. Upon purchasing the ticket, you will receive a 3,000 or 5,000 won “Love Hwacheon” gift certificate which you can use as cash in the Hwacheon area.
[Snow Fun Park]
Food & Other Attractions
The excitement of Hwacheon Sancheoneo Festival can also be felt throughout the town of Hwacheon. The Ice Illumination Park behind the Hope Lights Plaza is divided into few several sections including a Korea,
World, and China section, with each showcasing large-scale ice sculptures in various colors. The China section notably features 27 ice sculptures by 35 sculptors from the ‘Harbin Ice & Snow Festival’, one of the 4 major global winter festivals.
Hwacheon Sancheoneo Festival provides a unique opportunity to try and purchase Hwacheon’s local specialties. In addition to the fish kitchen that serves sancheoneo, food stands along the Hwacheoncheon Stream sell tteokbokki, fish cakes, dumplings, and savory and sweet fritters. Moreover, most packaged foods can be purchased with the Love Hwacheon gift certificates or the Agricultural Specialties coupon that you receive upon the purchase of admission tickets at the venue.
Tip. Love Hwacheon coupon & Agricultural Specialties coupon
[Photo credit: Nara Organizing Committee]
Love Hwacheon coupons can be used in every restaurant, gas station, and accommodation as cash. Agricultural Specialties coupon can be used only at the agricultural specialties sales booth at the festival venue.
2014 Hwacheon Sancheoneo (Mountain Trout) Ice Festival
Last updated, December 19, 2013