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Winter Festivals Worth Checking Out in Korea

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

Winters in Korea aren’t complete without the festivals. Have you ever wanted to attend a winter festival in Korea? In this article, we’ll be laying down some of the most fun winter festivals that you can attend in Korea.

Which Winter Festival in Korea Should I Visit?

Each of the festivals in Korea celebrates different things. In the winter, it could be the season itself, food, or snow. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you decide on which one you want to attend.

1. Jaraseom Singsing Winter Festival

Duration: usually December to February Venue: Gapyeongcheon Stream in Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do

This festival is known for its trout fishing and barehanded fishing attractions. If you manage to catch something, you can have it prepared at grills and sashimi stands!

For the children, there are festival rides and sledding hills. And if you get hungry, there’ll be a lot of vendors with hot street food and drinks.

2. Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival

Duration: January 5 to January 27 Venue: Hwacheoncheon Stream in Hwacheon-gun, Gangwon-do

The Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival is seen as one of the world’s biggest winter festivals. The main attraction of this festival is fishing for sancheoneo (Masou salmon) and enjoying it fried or raw.

Apart from this, there are many other attractions, including figure skating, bobsleighing, sledding, ice sports, and a massive snow castle and snow park.

The fee for joining either bare-handed fishing or ice fishing is 10,000 won for non-Koreans (around Php 465.00).

3. Taebaeksan Snow Festival

Duration: January 13 to January 22 Venue: Taebaeksan National Park in Gangwon-do

Ice sculptures and cute snowmen are the main attraction of this festival. Check out the fantastic snow sculptures at their international exhibition.

Other attractions include the Snowflake Hiking Competition, snow-sliding, and the Igloo Cafe.

Admission to this festival is free, but some attractions may require payment.

4. Jirisan Namwon Baraebong Snowflake Festival

Duration: usually from January to February Venue: Herb Valley and Baraebong Peak in Namwon-si, Jeollabuk-do

Situated on the peak of one of the mountains of the North Jeolla Province, this festival has tons of attractions that feature various snow activities and local delicacies.

Attractions include sledding, mountain climbing, herb-craft making classes, kite-flying, and many more. If you’re tired, grab some baked sweet potatoes to munch on while you rest.

Admission to this festival is free, but some attractions may require payment.

5. Busan Christmas Tree Festival

Duration: usually from November to January Venue: 88 Gwangbok-ro Street, Jung-gu, Busan

Celebrate Christmas with an eighteen-meter tall Christmas tree, colorful lights, and fantastic street performances.

Make a wish at the famous Wishing Tree and snap a photo at the Christmas Lights Photo Zone. This festival is guaranteed to get you in the holiday mood.

Admission to this festival is free, but some attractions may require payment.

6. The Garden of the Morning Calm Lighting Festival

Duration: usually December to March Venue: The Garden of the Morning Calm in Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do

The Garden of Morning Calm is filled with more than five-thousand plants that are decorated with millions of LED lights. This makes the entire environment shiny and colorful. If you’re hungry, you can have a meal at one of the restaurants inside the garden, like the Korean Food Garden, the Good Morning Coffee cafe, the Morning Spring Bakery, or the Tea House.

This attraction is open all year round, but its operating hours are extended during the festival period. Note that the garden opens in the morning, but the lights are only turned on at 5:00 PM.

The admission fee for adults is 9,000 won (about Php 420.00). For children, it ranges from 6,000 to 7,000 won (around Php 280.00 to Php 325.00), depending on their age.

7. The Herb Island Lighting Festival

Duration: usually November to December Venue: Pocheon Herb Island in Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

Also known as the “Light & Fairy Tale Festival”, the Herb Island Lighting Festival brings the island to life with millions of LED lights. The twinkling decorations make the environment glimmer with beauty.

There are also a lot of attractions, like performances to enjoy, classes on soap-making and wine-making, and even a spa for those who just want to relax.

The entrance fee to this festival is 6,000 won (around Php 280.00).

8. Inje Icefish Festival

Duration: January 19 to January 27 Venue: Injedaegyo Bridge in Nam-myeon, Inje-gun, Gangwon-do

The Inje Icefish Festival boasts of more than 30 guest attractions. These include national competitions for ice soccer and creative competitions, ice fishing sites, and other winter sports attractions.

There are also a lot of stalls to choose from, where you can buy the famous icefish and other specialties.

Admission to this festival is free, but some attractions may require payment.

9. Pyeongchang Trout Festival

Duration: usually December to February Venue: Odaecheon Stream in Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do

This festival takes place in Pyeongchang, AKA “the Alps of Korea”. Aside from the gorgeous scenery, guests can enjoy a lot of fun winter attractions like sledding, snow rafting, ice skating, and trout fishing.

If you get hungry, there’ll be a lot of restaurants and stalls serving freshly-cooked trout in different ways.

Admission to this festival is free, but some attractions may require payment.

10. Hongcheon River Ginseng Trout Festival

Duration: January 4 to January 20 Venue: Hongcheongang River in Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do

True to its namesake, this festival entices its guests to try and catch the special “ginseng trout”. These trouts were fed with Hongcheon Ginseng, which famous for its medical properties.

The festival has attractions like Snow World, barehanded trout fishing, and lots of Korean restaurants where you can grab a meal.

Admission to this festival is free, but some attractions may require payment.

These are only a few of South Korea’s many festivals. Ready to attend your first winter festival in Korea? Make sure you’re dressed for the weather. Check out this article: What to Wear and Pack for Winter Travel in Korea.

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