Amazing aerial footage shows 100,000 people at China's ice fishing festival

Video: This year, a 4,000 square metre market has been set up on the ice of Chagan lake

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The Independent Online

Aerial footage from China shows nearly 100,000 people descend on Chagan Lake to buy fish, a symbol of a prosperous new year in the country.

Chagan Lake is situated in northeastern China's Jilin province and hosts an annual fish festival that last two months and usually harvests over 1 million kilos of fish.

The festival begins on December 28 and sees members of China's Mongolian ethnic group catch fish using a centuries-old technique: in temperatures of minus 22 degrees Celsius, they cut into the ice of the lake and place a net underneath in order to catch fish such as carp.

The first fish caught is considered auspicious and is auctioned off: this year, the first catch went for a record 370,000 Chinese Yuan, roughly £38,000.

Chagan Lake covers an area of nearly 500 square kilometres and is the only place left in China to witness traditional Mongolian ice fishing.

This year, for the first time, a market has been set up on the ice to handle demand and there is now increased cooperation with online firms to sell the fish caught on Chagan Lake.