February is the month of love and if you’re visiting Korea, there are lots of things to do and see with your significant others. Be warned though, Korea is extremely cold in the month of February with temperatures rarely going above 0 degrees Celsius. If you’re travelling to Korea during these cold winter months, make sure to take your winter coats, gloves and hats with you. You can expect snow and ice in February, which makes Korea look like a beautiful snowy winter wonderland though you ought be careful when walking around, as the paths are treacherous. So if you’re one who likes to brave the cold, then take a look below to see what February has in store for you.
Little Prince Lighting Festival of Petite France (쁘띠프랑스 어린왕자 별빛축제)
Dates: December 1st 2018 ~ February 2nd 2019
Location: (Eng) Petit France, 1063, Hoban-ro, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do (Kor) 경기도 가평군 청평면 호반로 1063 (청평면) 쁘띠프랑스
Admission: Adults 10,000 won / Teenagers 8,000 won / Children (ages 3 – elementary school) 6,000 won
Petite France is a mock French village located in Gapyeong, a county to the right of Seoul. The streets and buildings are lit with large lighting displays for the Little Prince Lighting Festival. Music and dance performances are also held each day, along with French film screenings for any couples looking for a romantic evening. For kids, there are puppet performances as well as hands-on arts and crafts activities. If you are staying in Seoul, visiting Gapyeong’s Petite France is fairly easy. You can take an intercity coach from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (동서울종합버스터미널) or Sangbong Bus Terminal (상봉터미널), to Cheongpyeong (청평면). From Cheongpyeong, you can take a local bus bound for Goseong-ri (고성리); this will take you straight to Petite France.
Taebaeksan Mountain Snow Festival (태백산 눈축제)
Dates: January 18th 2019 ~ March 2nd 2019
Location: (Eng) Taebaeksan National Park, 168, Cheonjedan-gil, Taebaek-si, Gangwon-do (Kor) 강원도 태백시 천제단길 168 (소도동)
Taebaeksan Mountain Snow Festival hosts a lot of fun winter activities including ice-skating and dog sledging. The festival creates a true winter wonderland. If you work up an appetite whilst there, you can find traditional Korean street foods sold there as well as barbecued Korean beef. If you like the idea of some ice sculpting or drinking warm tea in an ice cafe, it’s definitely worth a visit. To visit Taebaeksan from Seoul, take an intercity coach from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (동서울종합버스터미널) to Taebaek (태백). Then, from Taebaek, you can take the local bus bound for Danggol (당골) and alight at Taebaeksan Provincial Park (태백산 국립공원).
Korean Lunar New Year (설날)
Dates: February 4th 2019 ~February 6th 2019
Unlike in the west, Korea celebrates the new year in February, aligning the new year with the lunar calendar. Lunar New Year is one of the largest holidays in Korea along with Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) held in September/October time. During Lunar New Year, Koreans often travel out of the cities to visit their grandparents’ houses in the countryside. Often isolated from the internet and television, Koreans spend time with their families. Food is traditionally prepared by all the women in the family, with a large table spread of Korean traditional food being made. The food is first offered to the dead ancestors of the family before being eaten by the living. Koreans also often visit their ancestors’ graves to pay respect and to honour their deceased ancestors. Koreans generally spend the three day holiday playing traditional games and eating with their loved ones, giving them a much needed break from their dailyworries and their often stressful lives.
During the three days of Lunar New Year, many shops and attractions are often closed in Korea. So if you are travelling to Korea during these times, be prepared for many unexpected closures. Some restaurants will often stay open or only close for one of the above days, though you should definitely plan ahead so as to not be disappointed by these closures.
Be sure to wrap up warm this February and enjoy a snowy Korea.
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Featured Image Source: ©gyeongbok palace, USAGI_POST, 7.12.2018, pixabay.com