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(LEAD) Icefish festival kicks off in northeastern county

SAT 2020 18 JAN 06:30:PM (GMT: SAT 2020 18 JAN 09:30:AM)
KOREA

(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 5-6)

INJE, South Korea, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- An annual ice fishing festival kicked off in a northeastern county on Saturday, organizers said.

The Inje Icefish Festival opened for a run till Feb. 2 on the vast frozen Soyang Lake in the mountainous county of Inje, 165 kilometers northeast of Seoul.

The centerpiece of the festival is catching smelt out of roughly 20-centimeter-wide ice holes. Called "bingeo" in Korean, smelt live in water colder than 10 C and are most active between December and February.

To that end, a 66,100-square-meter fishing zone was created on the ice, with some 2,000 holes bored for anglers to use.

This year's festival offers 33 programs and activities for visitors, ranging from tasting icefish and other foods to ice skating and sledding.

The organizers said more than 50,000 people attended the festival on the opening day.

The festival, which dates back to 1998, has developed into one of the country's most famous festivals over the past two decades.

People fish for smelt during the annual Inje Icefish Festival in Inje, 165 kilometers northeast of Seoul, on Jan. 18, 2020. The festival, which opened on the day, will continue until Feb. 2. (Yonhap)


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