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Amsan Ice Festival canceled due to warm winter

Winter festivals in northern areas of South Korea to go ahead as scheduled

Jan. 14, 2024 - 13:53 By Lee Si-jin

Holidaymakers enjoy the Amsan Ice Festival in 2023. (Korea Foundation for Cultures and Ethics)

Ice festival lovers living in the country’s southeastern Yeongnam area, which covers South Gyeongsang Province, North Gyeongsang Province, Daegu, Busan and Ulsan, will need to travel further afield to enjoy this year’s winter festival, as the Amsan Ice Festival has been canceled due to unusually warm winter temperatures.

The Amsan Ice Festival, which was scheduled to take place in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province, is one of the most visited winter festivals in the Yeongnam area, attracting almost 200,000 visitors every year.

The festival became popular as it allowed winter lovers residing in the southern part of the country to enjoy various ice-themed activities, including ice fishing, ice skating, sledding, curling and more, without traveling far to the famous winter destinations in Gyeonggi Province and Gangwon Province.

“We recognized that the stream has not frozen properly because of the unusually warm temperatures in recent days. The ice is not thick enough to ensure tourists' safety,” the Amsan Ice Festival organizer explained Friday.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, Andong’s temperatures fell below zero for only three days in January, as of Friday.

Visitors get ready to experience bare-hand fishing at the Heongcheongang Winter Festival in Hongcheon, Gangwon Province. (Hongcheon Cultural Foundation)

Meanwhile, the Hongcheongang Winter Festival, in Hongcheon, Gangwon Province, will offer visitors a chance to experience ice fishing and other outdoor activities as planned.

The recent drop in temperature in Gangwon Province allowed visitors to enjoy the festivities to the fullest, according to the festival organizer.

Visitors can catch the festival's renowned ginseng-fed trout in either bare-hand fishing or ice fishing events.

Visitors can also enjoy other outdoor activities, like vintage Korean-style sledding or a stamp tour, throughout the festival period until Jan. 21.

Tourists pose for photos at a snow-themed exhibition as part of the Daegwallyeong Snow Festival in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province. (Daegwallyeong Snow Festival)

The annual Daegwallyeong Snow Festival will return as planned on Jan. 27.

The festival, which started in the area around Songcheon Stream in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province in 1993, has become one of the most famous winter festivals in South Korea, featuring beautiful snowy hills, snow sculptures and fun-filled activities for both children and adults.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary and the upcoming Winter Youth Olympic Games Gangwon 2024, this year’s Daegwallyeong Snow Festival will not only feature the famous ice sculptures and artworks, but also a special photo exhibition to promote the festival's rich history.

The festival will offer an opportunity to explore some of the Olympic games at nearby venues.

The Daegwallyeong Snow Festival will run through Feb. 11.

More information can be found at its official website