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Inje Icefish Festival canceled due to pandemic

 
The 19th Inje Icefish Festival held in 2019 (Inje Icefish Festival)
The 19th Inje Icefish Festival held in 2019 (Inje Icefish Festival)

The Inje Icefish Festival -- one of the most popular winter festivals in South Korea -- will not be held next year as the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic has hit the country.

The annual winter festival held in Inje, a mountainous county in Gangwon Province some 165 kilometers northeast of Seoul, is centered around a pond with small ice holes, measuring 20 centimeters wide, made for visitors to try to catch the fish that live in water below. The nine-day festival was scheduled to kick off on Jan. 15.

“(Coronavirus) infection cases rose in the region recently, so we decided to call off next year‘s festival," an official from the Inje Icefish Festival told The Korea Herald on Tuesday. “But we are considering an online version of the festival and discussing the details,” the official said, adding that a plan would be announced sometime next week. 

The 19th Inje Icefish Festival held in 2019 (Inje Icefish Festival)
The 19th Inje Icefish Festival held in 2019 (Inje Icefish Festival)

In a typical year, the Inje Icefish Festival offers a variety of programs and activities, including the opportunity to cook the fish that visitors caught, sledding, a snow playground, a drone zone and indoor playgrounds for kids.

Established in 1998, the festival has grown into one of the most famous winter festivals in the area, along with the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, which features trout ice fishing.

The Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, which achieved worldwide attention when it was featured on CNN in 2012, is scheduled to kick off on Jan. 9, but that is liable to change.

“We do not know yet whether to cancel the festival. We are keeping an eye on the pandemic situation and will wait until early in December (to make a decision),” an official from the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival told The Korea Herald.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcrop.com)



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