The famous ice-fishing festival Hwacheon Sancheoneo Festival has started its 23-day run in the northern town of Hwacheon, with more than 150,000 people visiting on the first day, the event's organizers said Monday.
Opening on Saturday, the wintertime celebration will run through Feb. 1 in the Gangwon Province town, some 118 kilometers northeast of Seoul, offering 60 various programs and activities, including mass fishing and sleigh riding.
The festival has drawn over 1 million visitors every year since 2006 and became the most popular winter event in South Korea.
The organizing committee said that a record 151,000 people visited the event on the opening day alone, surpassing the earlier record of 135,000 set last year.
It estimated that nearly 300,000 people have visited the festival over the opening weekend.
Thousands of visitors flocked to the stream and bobbed their fishing lines in and out of some 14,000 holes drilled in the frozen river to catch sancheoneo, a type of mountain trout.
Some festival-goers jumped into the icy-cold pool to catch fish with their bare hands.
Many of the visitors also gathered to take part in winter activities such as bobsleighing and exploring a 100-meter-high ice castle, it added.
The Ice Illumination Plaza has ice-made famous monuments imitative of Sungnyemun, one of the four gates that surrounded the capital city of Seoul, and India's Taj Mahal.
"All visitors can make unforgettable memories with family and friends here at Sancheoneo Ice Festival," said a committee official. (Yonhap)