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Would there be ‘Miracle of Winter’ in a mountain village?

Would there be ‘Miracle of Winter’ in a mountain village?

Posted December. 28, 2018 07:30,   

Updated December. 28, 2018 07:30


The “Miracle of Winter” is created in Hwacheon County of Gangwon Province, a small mountain village at the frontline border area, where more than one million tourists visit every January. The star of this miracle is the “Trout Festival,” which made great success by commercializing the cold weather and ice. The population of Hwacheon County as of the end of last year was 26,022. The Hwacheon Trout Festival, which is the largest domestic winter festival, will open from January 5 to 27. Hwacheon Country Mayor Choi Moon-soon held a press conference at a briefing room in the Gangwon Provincial Office on Wednesday, and introduced the schedule and contents of the festival in detail.

Hwacheon County set its goal to attract more than 200,000 stay-type tourists at the most for this year’s festival, which marks its 16th anniversary. This is because tourists who lodge are more helpful for the region’s economy than day tourists. This also means that the county is focusing on ensuring substantial stability rather than appearance.

Hwacheon County has been steadily carrying out environmental improvement projects on food and accommodation business for one year. A mobile application system where it is not only possible to confirm‎ information on accommodations in real time but also possible to make reservations was created and is now open for service.

Festive moods can already be felt in the atmosphere of Hwacheon. There will be no problem in safety as the thickness of the ice of Hwacheon creak reaches up to 20 centimeters and will exceed 25 centimeters in the beginning of the festival. The county is counting the days to discharge 190 tons of trout that it was able to secure.

The Seondeung Street and indoor ice sculpture square opened on December Friday. Some 27,000 trout lanterns of various colors hanging in the Seondeung Street light up the night with splendor. The 1,700-square-meter indoor ice sculpture square, which is the largest in the world, exhibits some 30 pieces of large-scale ice sculpture such as St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Gwanghwamun.

In-Mo Lee imlee@donga.com