The Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival is a unique wintertime celebration that draws over 1,000,000 visitors every year. To promote it as the nation’s largest and most popular winter festival, organizers plan a variety of programs and fun activities. The most popular programs are ice fishing in the clean waters of the Bukhangang River, ice football played on thick ice of the frozen river, and ice sledding. The great festival lasts for twenty three days.
The freshwater mountain trout, a member of the salmon family, is endemic to Gangwon-do Province. It lives only in clean fresh water with a temperature below 20 degrees Celsius throughout the year. The trout is called the “Queen of the Valley” for the beautiful parr marks on its sides. The cultural festival is organized to celebrate the abundance of mountain trout in its waters.