Finally, the new year has arrived! Happy New Year, everyone. 🙇 One of the best ways to celebrate and ring in the New Year is to attend a festival! Today, to mark the start of 2023, Incheon Airport will introduce some great winter festivals in Korea that are held in the month of January.
We prepared some must-see festivals that are perfect for anyone visiting Korea now for the winter season. From the classic Snow Festival to experiencing a sea of red camellia flowers, we have places that will exude major winter vibes. Let’s take a look at our picks for the best four winter festivals in January nationwide!
1. Daegwallyeong Snow Festival in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province
Do you remember the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics that was held in Korea? First on our list is the Daegwallyeong Snow Festival that is held in that very city, Pyeongchang! Daegwallyeong is an area especially well-known in Korea for all the snow it receives. ☃ In fact, we would even go as far as to say that when someone mentions winter, most Koreans will think of Daegwallyeong.
At the Daegwallyeong Snow Festival, you’ll be able to see various snow igloos that remind you of Alaska. There are many interesting snow sculptures that you can even go inside to get a better look. It is perfect for taking memorable pictures with family, lovers, and friends.
There is also a big 100 meter-long slope for sledding right next to the venue that you can enjoy winter activities on. 🏂 Being that this was where the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was held, there is also an experience zone where you can enjoy winter Olympic events such as cross-country or the biathlon! Enjoy the snowy landscape of Gangwon-do with the residents of Daegwallyeong.
2. Busan Haeundae Light Festival
Busan is one of the most visited areas of Korea by foreign tourists! In January, there is a colorful winter festival held in Busan called the Haeundae Light Festival. This year marks the festival’s 9th anniversary!
A mysterious feast of lights at Haeundae Beach, one of the most iconic spots in Busan! The white sandy beach is flooded with waves of blue light and beautiful light sculptures can be spotted all through the streets of Haeundae. You can feel the warm atmosphere of the New Year just by walking through these sights 🌊. There are three viewing courses: the main course, the healing course, and the sentimental course. Pick which course you’d like to take to enjoy the Haeundae Light Festival.
Various light-streets will be set up not only in Haeundae, but all throughout Busan for the month of January. If you are a tourist visiting Busan during this time, you’ll be able to make special memories anywhere!🌟 The light festival comes to life around 5:30 p.m., when the sun sets. We recommend you to look around other famous tourist attractions in Busan during the day. From traditional markets where you can feel the soul of Korea to Gamcheon Culture Village to taking a Mukbang Tour. There are many things to see in Busan to fill up a two day trip.
3. Chilgapsan Ice Fountain Festival in Cheongyang, Chungcheongnam-do
The third festival on our list is the Chilgapsan Ice Fountain Festival. It is a festival held in the Alps Village in Cheongyang, Chungcheongnam-do. It is a place where you can enjoy various winter activities and see many beautiful items made of snow and ice. It’s like the gift sets of January winter festivals! 🎁
True to its name, the real star of the show at this festival is the Ice Fountain. Visitors can take a photo of a lifetime in front of a huge waterfall-shaped ice fountain! 📷 There are more than 70 ice fountains with other various snow sculptures next to them. Last year, there were snow sculptures with the motif of “Squid Game”. We wonder what kinds of special snow sculptures will be prepared for this year? If you’re curious, see for yourself at the Chilgapsan Ice Fountain Festival!
In addition to this, you can enjoy various winter sports such as ice bobsledding, sledding, ice fishing, ziplining, track, and can-skiing (riding in a metal carts on skis). There’s something for everyone of all ages! The fun and excitement of riding down a steep slope will be an unforgettable memory. 🎿 Last but not least, don’t forget to enjoy signature Korean winter foods that taste even better when outdoors, such as warm fish-shaped pastries and roasted rice cakes!
4. Jeju Hueree Camellia Festival
Our final stop is on Jeju Island for the last winter festival on our list, the Hueree Camellia Festival. Camellia flowers start to bloom in early winter right before spring begins. Jeju Island is located in the south of Korea, so it is relatively warm there, even in the winter. The Hueree Camellia Festival is special in that it is a festival where you can enjoy flowers in the month of January!💐
Hueree Natural Life Park, where the festival is held, has a variety of courses to enjoy the camellia flowers, including the Camellia Olle Trail and Camellia Garden. You’ll be able to take it all in and enjoy the camellias with all your senses. If you go on a snowy day, you can enjoy an even more wonderful sight of the red camellia flowers sprouting out of the white snow. 😀
In addition, you can go tangerine-picking, a Jeju Island delicacy! 🍊 You can pick the tangerines yourself, enjoy some there, and take some home. It truly is a one-of-a-kind experience you can enjoy in Korea, so we recommend you visit Jeju Island in the winter. It’s not just in Hueree Natural Life Park, as you can enjoy camellia flowers all throughout Jeju Island, including at the Camellia Arboretum, Halla Arboretum, and Camellia Hill. Take your pick on the place that best fits your travel itinerary!
Today, we introduced January winter festivals to check out nationwide! Talking about this has left us itching to hit up a festival ourselves. As many know, Korea has been experiencing a particularly cold winter season this year. Please prepare proper winter clothing and heat packs to enjoy the January festivals safely and warmly! We hope you all have a cozy and joyful winter!