Hanafuda means "flower card", cards are divided into twelve suits, one for each month of the year. It is a brain-game by reaching a deduction what cards the opponent has or which combo the opponent wants to make, making the stronger combo than the opponent. Each card is given 1/5/10/20 points and players try to get high points combining some cards.
Often played by girls at the New Year, Hanetsuki is a Japanese traditional game, similar to badminton without a net, played with a rectangular wooden paddle called hagota abd a brightly colored shuttlecock. The game can be played by any gender in two fashions: by one person attempting to keep the shuttlecock aloft as long as possible, or by two people batting it back and forth.
Takoage is a kite flying game played during New Years in Japan. These kites can come in diamond, rectangular, and hexagonal shapes, or sometimes they can be in the shape of Japanese characters or various animals. Often the designs painted on the kites signify good luck. The kite flying New Year's tradition is so prevalent in Japan because the Tokugawa shogun during the late Edo period restricted the flying of kites except during the New Year’s period.
Omikuji are random fortunes written on strips of paper at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan. Literally "a sacred lot", these are usually received by making a small offering (generally a five-yen coin as it is considered good luck) and randomly choosing one from a box, hoping for the resulting fortune to be good.
Yutnori, 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. Yutnori 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.
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 are 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 backflips.
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.
CHINA: Lion and Dragon Dances
The lion dance, performed by two acrobats inside a single costume, is the more common of the two dance traditions seen at celebrations. The ferocious, four-legged creature is widely and incorrectly referred to as a “dragon" by Westerners who aren't familiar. Dragons look entirely different. Rather than two acrobats inside of a single costume, the dragons are long creatures lifted up on poles to be controlled by performers.
Stilts are poles, posts or pillars used to allow a person or structure to stand at a height above the ground. Stilts for walking are poles equipped with platforms for the feet to stand on and can be used, depending on the design, with straps to attach them to the user's legs or be held in place by the hands of the user.