Travel Highlights

      • Guide to Winter Festivals

        • 12/15/2023

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        • Pyeongchang

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        • winter

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        • Jeongdongjin

  • Map of winter festivals in Korea

    Winter in Korea is dynamic and ever-changing as the weather. In December, the cities are adorned in colorful lights, and when the year draws to a close, people gather at sunrise festival locations across Korea to welcome in the first sunrise of the New Year. January and February are perfect for reveling in the chilly weather by visiting snow and ice festivals. Each region has its own unique winter culture and specialty products as well as endless opportunities to enjoy an active winter in Korea.

    >> Lighting Festivals

    Lighting Festival at The Garden of Morning Calm

    Lighting Festival at The Garden of Morning Calm (Credit: The Garden of Morning Calm))

    • Period: December 1, 2023 - March 17, 2024
    • Venue: The Garden of Morning Calm
      432 Sumogwon-ro, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 가평군 상면 수목원로 432)

    The Lighting Festival at the Garden of Morning Calm is a fabulous evening event that covers an area of nearly 330,000 ㎡ with lights. The gleaming lights add a festive glow to the natural beauty of the garden throughout the winter season. The lighting hours are from 17:00 to 21:00, with extended hours until 23:00 on Saturdays.

    E-World Illumination

    Nightscape of E-world Illumination (Credit: Korea Tourism Organization – Ahnjinho Film)

    • Period: December 9, 2022 - March 19, 2023
    • Venue: E-World
      200 Duryugongwon-ro, Dalseo-gu, Daegu (대구광역시 달서구 두류공원로 200)

    E-World Illumination sets E-World, Daegu’s largest theme park, aglow each winter. Visitors can take in the brightly lit view from one of the 30 amusement park rides or from the observatory in 83 Tower. Photo zones are set up in front of popular attractions such as the red double-decker bus and the merry-go-round to capture memories of your time here.

    >> New Year’s Sunrise Festivals

    Seongsan Sunrise Festival

    Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone

    • Period: December 30, 2023 - January 1, 2024
    • Venue: Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone
      284-12 Ilchul-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do (제주특별자치도 서귀포시 성산읍 일출로 284-12)

    Join the countdown and welcome the New Year at Jeju’s premier sunrise festival, Seongsan Sunrise Festival, taking place at Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone, also known as “Sunrise Peak.” In addition to the beautiful sunrise, the festival will also feature performances, burning wish papers, a laser show, the distribution of tteokguk (rice cake soup), and other events. This year, the number of people who can hike up to the tuff cone in the early morning of January 1 is limited to 900 for safety reasons. The Seongsan Sunrise Festival website will be accepting applications for those who are interested starting from December 20 at noon (KST).

    Homigot Sunrise Festival

    Sunrise at Homigot Cape

    • Period: December 31, 2023 – January 1, 2024
    • Venue: Homigot Sunrise Square
      136 Haemaji-ro, Nam-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도 포항시 남구 호미곶면 해맞이로 136)

    Homigot Sunrise Square at Homigot Cape is definitely one of the most popular places for watching the New Year’s sunrise due to its brilliant yellow and golden sunrise scenery. Main programs at the Homigot Sunrise Festival include various celebratory performances and a market operated by local small businesses, as well as handing out free tteokguk.

    Jeongdongjin Sunrise Festival

    Sunrise at Jeongdongjin Beach

    • Period: December 31, 2023 – January 1, 2024
    • Venue: Sandglass Park
    • Jeongdongjin 2-ri, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do (강원특별자치도 강릉시 강동면 정동진2리)

    Jeongdongjin is a famous sunrise viewing spot with a train station close to the beach, making it extremely accessible. The large sandglass near Jeongdongjin Beach is a landmark of the area and the setting for Jeongdongjin Sunrise Festival. The sandglass takes one full year for the sand in the top bulb to completely fall to the bottom. When the clock strikes midnight, the sandglass is turned over once again as part of a grand ceremony, kicking off the brand-new year with fireworks and performances.

    Yeosu Hyangiram Sunrise Festival

    Sunrise at Hyangiram Hermitage

    • Period: December 31, 2023 – January 1, 2024
    • Venue: Hyangiram Hermitage
    • 60 Hyangiram-ro, Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 여수시 돌산읍 향일암로 60)

    Yeosu Hyangiram Sunrise Festival is an annual overnight festival attended by those who want to enjoy the view of the New Year’s sunrise. Various events, such as lighting of wish lanterns and a candle ceremony, are prepared for visitors to enjoy.

    >> Active Festivals to Keep Warm

    Pyeongchang Trout Festival

    Pyeongchang Trout Festival (Credit: Pyeongchang Trout Festival Committee)

    • Period: December 22, 2023 – January 28, 2024
    • Venue:Odaecheon Stream festival grounds
    • 3562 Gyeonggang-ro, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do (강원특별자치도 평창군 진부면 경강로 3562)

    Pyeongchang Trout Festival takes place in Pyeongchang-gun, the largest trout producer in Korea. Trout cultivated in the clear waters of Pyeongchang are popular for their rich and chewy texture. At the festival, visitors can enjoy ice fishing along with other fun activities such as barehanded fishing and sledding. The festival venue is also close to Alpensia Ski Resort and Yongpyong Ski Resort, popular winter sports resort attractions.

    Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival

    Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival (Credit: Naver Blogger leesmkm)

    • Period: January 6–28, 2024
    • Venue: Hwacheoncheon Stream festival grounds
    • 137 Sancheoneo-gil, Hwacheon-gun, Gangwon-do (강원특별자치도 화천군 화천읍 산천어길 137)

    Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival is held in the pristine natural environment around Hwacheoncheon Stream, the natural habitat of mountain trout and otters. One of the most popular programs at the festival is ice fishing, where people cut a hole through thick ice and try their luck at catching trout. Visitors can also brave the icy water and try catching fish barehanded. Helpful staff are available to ensure that even first-timers get a catch. Freshly caught fish can be consumed either raw or grilled on-site.

    Taebaeksan Mountain Snow Festival

    Taebaeksan Snow Festival (Credit: Taebaek-si)

    • Period: January 26 – February 4, 2024
    • Venue: Taebaeksan festival grounds
    • 180 Sodo-dong, Taebaek-si, Gangwon-do (강원특별자치도 태백시 소도동 180 )

    Taebaeksan Mountain Snow Festival offers guests an array of events and activities that are sure to entertain everyone. Visitors can enjoy performances, exquisite snow sculptures, and snow sledding, all with the beautiful Taebaeksan Mountain covered in snow as their backdrop. A lighting festival is also taking place around the same time at Hwangji Pond, with lanterns in a range of shapes and sizes. Just 20 minutes away by car, it’s a great add-on for when visiting the snow festival.

    Chilgapsan Ice Fountain Festival

    Chilgapsan Ice Fountain Festival

    • Period: December 28, 2023 – February 18, 2024
    • Venue: Alps Village
      223-35 Cheonjangho-gil, Cheongyang-gun, Chungcheongnam-do (충청남도 청양군 정산면 천장호길 223-35)

    Chilgapsan Ice Fountain Festival creates an amazing winter landscape through frozen fountains and sculptures made of snow. In addition to activities such as bobsleighing, ice sleds, a zip-track, and children’s train, visitors can enjoy classic winter snacks like freshly roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes.

    More info

    • 1330 Korea Travel Helpline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)

    * Festival programs and schedules are subject to sudden changes based on the weather. Please check the information before visiting.

    * This column was last updated in December 2023, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.

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