INJE, South Korea,– An annual ice fishing festival kicked off in a northeastern county on Saturday, organizers said.
The Inje Icefish Festival opened for a run till Feb. 2 on the vast frozen Soyang Lake in the mountainous county of Inje, 165 kilometers northeast of Seoul under the slogan of “20 Years Together, 2020 to be Together.”.
The centerpiece of the festival is catching smelt out of roughly 20-centimeter-wide ice holes. Called “bingeo” in Korean, smelt live in water colder than 10 degree Celsius and are most active between December and February.
To that end, a 66,100-square-meter fishing zone was created on the ice, with some 2,000 holes bored for anglers to use.
This year’s festival offers 33 programs and activities for visitors, ranging from tasting bingeo and other local foods to ice sledding, skating and Argo riding. Visitors can also watch drones operated by pilots, and a Snow Village reminiscent of downtown Inje in the 1960s.
Ice fishing is free, but visitors will need to pay a fee for fishing tool rental and bait, organizers said, adding that additional fees are required for ice fishing in tents, ice sledding, skating and other attractions.
They have modernized indoor playgrounds and other facilities for children and significantly expanded rest areas for young and elderly visitors.
The organizers said more than 50,000 people attended the festival on the opening day.
The festival, which dates back to 1998, has developed into one of the country’s most famous festivals over the past two decades.
SOURCE Inje County