Winter Wonderland in Korea

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Changdeok Palace, Seoul, Republic of Korea; Photo Credit: Anne Dirkse

Groups visiting the Republic of Korea this winter can expect everything from traditional light ceremonies to ice fishing to fire festivals.

Here are five of several activities that combine this festive season with Korean tradition.

Little Prince Lighting Festival

Visitors from all over Korea visit Petite France for its quaint design that’s reminiscent of a small French village. From Dec. 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017, groups can go to look at the community’s LED light garden that uses decorations directly purchased from France. Various nighttime performances complete the fairytale-like atmosphere.

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival

Nothing says winter in Korea like the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival. Lasting Jan. 7 to 29, 2017, the festival is lit up with sancheoneo-shaped lanterns made from hanji paper and LED-light luminaries along Seondeung Street. Large-scale ice sculptures, traditional Korean folk games and restaurants serving up Korean delicacies create a winter wonderland atmosphere.

Pyeongchang Trout Festival

Attendees who love fishing will want to participate in the Pyeongchang Trout Festival. From Dec. 31, 2016 to Jan. 30, 2017, festival activities include everything from catching fish by cutting a hole through the ice to bare-handed fishing and sledding.

Jeju Fire Festival

Held March 2-5, 2017, the Jeju Fire Festival is held for locals to pray for a healthy and prosperous new year. It honors the tradition of Jeju farmers who set fire to their fields to kill harmful bugs and create new grass for their cattle. An entire mountainside is set on fire as part of the tradition that also exposes groups to the Korean farming lifestyle.

Phoenix Park Ski Resort

Phoenix Park Ski Resort is one of several ski resorts in Korea for groups to visit during the winter. While its 21 slopes make it popular for such events as the upcoming Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, it is also known across the country for its Snowboard Park. Snowboarding attendees will appreciate its half-pipe, tabletop, round quarter and rails to text out their various snowboarding moves.

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