It’s that time of year - the weather is getting warmer, and we are all spending more time outside enjoying the sun. If you’re looking for games to play with friends or family as it heats up, we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled some Korean traditional games that you can try this summer!
1. Gonggi Noli
Gonggi Noli is a children’s game using five or more small pebbles, and is similar to the game of jacks in the west; additionally, like jacks, it can be played alone or with a group! Though you are able to buy these from the store, the great thing about Gonggi is that you can use anything, and play anywhere. This game is played by having players set the stones on top of their downward-facing hand. Then, they toss the pebbles in the air and catch as many as they can by flipping their hand over.
Watch this video of the different versions of this game to learn more!
Check out BTS playing gonggi in their variety show, Run BTS!
2. Paenginoli 팽이 놀이
Paenginoli, also known as Paengi Chigi, is essentially ‘tops’. Many of us are familiar with the game, but there are different variations in Korea. The game is popular among all generations in Korea. One version of paenginoli uses a top and a stick with a long string. The tops are wound with twine and then let go. Players must keep their top spinning with the long stick; whoever makes the top rotate the longest is the winner!
The below video explains the history of the game and how to play.
Here is a video of Korean celebrities playing paenginoli, or tops, on a variety show!
3. Jultagi 줄타기
Jultagi, or slacklining, is an activity where players will balance along a suspended length of flat webbing that is tensioned between two anchors. This activity is also relatively well-known in the west, and was even featured in the beloved show The Office. However, jultagi is different from the slacklining of the west because the player’s movements are meant to tell a story, with a song as accompaniment. Though this is one of the more difficult activities to participate in on this list, it’s easy to understand why this centuries-old game remains a beloved spectacle in Korea today.
Check out this video of a professional demonstrating the art of jultagi!
Yeonnalligi, or kite flying, has a long history in Korean culture. Korean kites were traditionally square ‘shield’ kites with a hole in the middle. Crafted from mulberry paper, they were beautifully decorated and flown from high peaks, pushed by the winter breeze. When players fly kites against each other in a competitive setting, players push their kites towards one another and try to cut the other’s string through friction.
Enjoy this video of professionals demonstrating how to play this game!
5. Gulleongsui 굴렁쇠
Gulleongsui, or hoop rolling, is another game that you may have heard of. The game is played by rolling a large, metal hoop on the ground by means of an object, usually a long stick. The goal of the game is to keep the hoop up as long as possible. If you can perform tricks, such as spinning the hoop, you can also gain more points!
Watch this instructional video about gulleongsui to learn more!
Which of these Korean games do you want to try this summer? Let us know in the comments down below!
Want to learn about more Korean games? Read our blogs: