Yut nori

Writing and etymology in Korean
擲 (놀이) - to play, throw
柶 (윷) - yut

Yut nori is one of the traditional games of Korea. In modern times, it is the most famous Korean folk game along with “tug of war”. Literally, Yutnori is translated as a game played with four wooden sticks. Players divide into two or more teams and toss four Yut sticks into the air to determine the winner, moving the pieces on the board according to the result.

Traditionally, Yut was played on New Year’s Day. On the morning of New Year’s Day, family members exchanged blessings and then played Yut with excitement. The game was a ritual to predict a good harvest and the luck of the entire village for the year, as well as to evaluate individual luck. The outcome of the winner and loser was predicted as good luck for the year.

Yut nori was not just a game for fun or one of the games of chance; it was not played at any time of the year. It was its own ceremonial process of judging and guessing life a year in advance.

The reason why Yutnori continues to be popular is because it is a strong game with tension, joy and fun.