This year’s Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, now in its 15th year, kicked off on Jan. 6.
At least 380,000 local and foreign guests visited Hwacheon County in Gangwon Province during the first three days of the three-week festival.
Ice fishing is just one of the highlights of the festival, which includes bobsledding, ice sledding, cultural activities, ice sculptures and food zones.
Braving subzero temperatures, participants try snatching a trout with their bare hands.
Rules are simple for bare-handed fishing: Participants are given five minutes to use whatever means necessary to catch fish and stuff them in their shirts. Once they are done, what they caught can be cooked on the grill or sliced up and eaten as sashimi.
Some 1,300 holes among 6,000 fish holes drilled are reserved for foreign visitors. Most of these holes are quickly filled from early morning. The lake has to be 15 centimeters thick to begin fishing -- so the colder, the better.
Photo by Park Hyun-koo
Written by Kim Da-sol