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What’s Going On This Month: January 2018

Happy New Year everyone! 2017 has come and gone, we’ve survived another trip around the sun. 2018 brings with it a whole new year of opportunities, and wherever it takes you we wish you the absolute best! Perhaps you are one of those fortunate enough to find yourself in South Korea this year. If you are, there are so many awesome things going on this month that you can take part in. These are some of the events we are most excited about!

Sunrise Festivals

© Bucheon Sunrise Festival, VisitKorea, 16.11.2017, http://english.visitkorea.or.kr

© Busan Sunrise Festival, VisitKorea, 16.11.2017, http://english.visitkorea.or.kr

Dates: December 31st – January 1st

Every country has its own way of celebrating New Years. In Korea, one of the ways they like to celebrate is their Sunset Festivals. They take place all around Korea, so no matter where you are there will be one somewhere not too far from you. People gather for the fireworks at midnight to say goodbye to the old year and then stay to wait for the sunrise as a way to welcome the New year in.

© Busan Sunrise festival 2, VisitKorea, 16.11.2017, http://english.visitkorea.or.kr

© Busan Sunrise festival 2, VisitKorea, 16.11.2017, http://english.visitkorea.or.kr

Depending on the location there are ceremonies, music, dancing, singing and generally just a lot of fun. Admission is free so if you are looking for an awesome way to celebrate New Years, this just might be it!

Sunrise Festival Locations:

Salon Du Chocolat Seoul

© Chocolate Exhibition, Salon Du Chocolat, 14.11.2017, http://www.salonduchocolat.kr

© Pastry Show, Salon Du Chocolat Seoul, 14.11.2017, http://www.salonduchocolat.kr

Venue: Coex Hall D.

Admission: TBC

Dates: 18th – 21st of January

It is pretty safe to assume that the majority of the world loves chocolate, if you are among that majority then this event is definitely for you. Salon Du Chocolat is a global event that takes place in different countries all throughout the year. It celebrates all things chocolate with lots of exhibits and a program that caters to people of all ages. The Cocoa Show brings to you a fashion show combining the creative talents of fashion designers and chocolatiers…yes, we are talking chocolate clothes. Special performances from the countries where cocoa originated will help teach you about the origin of chocolate through song, dance, and ceremony. The hourly pastry show will let you watch as renowned chefs, pastry chefs, chocolate makers, and young talents put their creative talents on display.

© Cocoa Fashion Show, Salon Du Chocolat Seoul, 14.11.2017, http://www.salonduchocolat.kr

© Cocoa Fashion Show, Salon Du Chocolat Seoul, 14.11.2017, http://www.salonduchocolat.kr

The program caters to children as well. Chocoland is a wonderful place where any young chocolatier can get creative. Kids are in charge, but professionals are on hand to help guide them. They can learn and create at the same time as having fun! The Chocolate Seminar brings you hourly presentations and tastings by some of the most renowned celebrities and knowledgeable amateurs in the chocolate world! It truly is the place to be for any chocolate lover.

Tthe admission price is currently TBC, but if you book ahead of time online, then admission is free!

If you are interested in pre-registering for this event you can do so on the Salon Du Chocolat Seoul website.

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival

© Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival 1, VisitKorea, 15.11.2017, http://english.visitkorea.or.kr

© Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival 1, VisitKorea, 15.11.2017, http://english.visitkorea.or.kr

Location: Hwacheon-eup, Hwacheon-gun, Gangwon-do

Admission: Varies between activities, full price list can be found here

Dates: 6th – 28th of January

Named as the best festival in Korea by the ministry of culture, sports, and tourism, the Hwancheon Sancheoneo is one you definitely don’t want to miss out on. Although the festival has many different activities for everyone to enjoy, the main is ice fishing for Sancheoneo.

What is Sancheoneo?

A popular native freshwater fish, also referred to as the Queen of the Valley. Well loved for its beauty and health properties.

People come from all over to try to catch themselves a fish. Some of the braver souls even don shorts and tee-shirts to try their hand at the barehand fishing activities. Makes us cold just thinking about it! But don’t worry, a warm foot bath is available to help thaw out any frozen participants in this activity.

© Barehand Ice Fishing Arena, narafestival, 15.11.2017, http://www.narafestival.com

© Barehand Ice Fishing Arena, narafestival, 15.11.2017, http://www.narafestival.com

If fishing isn’t really your thing there are many other activities you can enjoy. The entire town of Hwacheon pitches in to help contribute to this wintery event. Lights and lanterns are strung up in a spectacular display along Seondeung Street. The Ice plaza boasts many impressive and large-scale ice sculptures, which are very popular for the perfect selfie background. Traditional folk games, and photo zones, and of course traditional food, which as we all know is essential to any festival’s success!

© Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice festival 2, VisitKorea, 15.11.2107, http://english.visitkorea.or.kr

© Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice festival 2, VisitKorea, 15.11.2107, http://english.visitkorea.or.kr

As this is a winter festival, plenty of snow and ice-based activities available as well. Traditional Korean sleds and sleds from all around the world are found in the ice sledding experience zone. A 100-meter snow slope and a 40-meter ice slope providing the perfect opportunities for fast-paced bobsleighing fun. There is even Ice soccer and Ice go-kart racing as well. All in all, this truly is a festival that anyone can enjoy!

If you are looking for any further information about this event, head to either the VisitKorea or narafestival websites.


Do you plan to be in Korea this January? Are you going to be going to any of these events? Are you going to any January events we haven’t mentioned?

Let us know because we would love to talk with you!

Want to experience more of Korean culture? Why not subscribe now to the Inspire Me Korea CULTURE box to receive a box of goodies sent to your door every month? We ship internationally! Find out more here

Featured Image Source: © Sunrise in Korea, CCPAPA, 24.01.2018, pixabay.com

Matthew Keeler

American-born Australian planning on making Korea my home. 4-Dimensional optimist :D Love life and live with no regrets. Be yourself, and treat everyone with kindness.^^

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