Traditional Korean games in Lunar New Year


( The Lunar New Year, known to Koreans as “Seollal,” is an important time of traditions and rich history. Apart from cultural customs and delicious foods, families use the holiday to spend time together by playing games and having fun.

1. Yut Nori

Yut Nori , sometimes also called nyout/yut, is very traditional and is the most-played game during Seollal. It is considered to be a social event, where both players and onlookers enjoy the fun. Yut Nori consists of a board called malpan, which can be made of cloth, paper, plastic, or wood. Jangjak Yut  are four sticks, used kind of like dice. Four mal, which also means horse in Korean, are the markers and are used like Monopoly pieces: the top hat, thimble, race car, etc. However, buttons, small stones, and coins can be used as mal for this Korean game. In the past, this game was commonly used as fortune telling, notably by the mountain and small village neighborhoods.



2. Jegichagi

Jegichagi is essentially a hacky sack game. A shuttlecock-like item called jegi  is kicked in the air, preventing it from landing on the ground. In a one-on-one game, the player with the highest number of kicks wins. During a group game, the jegi is passed to random players in a circle and the player who lets it drop loses. There are two different versions when playing jegichagi. One is Ddangganghji , where the foot touches the ground after each kick, and the other is Hullangyi , in which case the foot continues kicking the jegi without toughing the ground.




3. Neolttwigi

Neolttwigi  is a kind of a standing see-saw and is traditionally played by women and girls. Two people stand on each end of a plank and take turns jumping in a see-saw manner. This game takes much skill as balance and timing is key. It is believed that the game was played by the Yangban women (noble women) in order to see over the walls that fenced in their residence since they were not allowed to go beyond the walls. They also put on their best outfits when jumping because potential suitors may be trying to catch a glimpse of them from beyond the walls. Over the years, it has become something of an acrobatic performance. Performers now play the game while jumping rope and doing special tricks, such as back flips.




According to What the K-pop.

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