Yut is a traditional Korean board game still played on Lunar New Year’s Day. The game involves opposing players who alternately toss four sticks to determine how game pieces move on a diagram.
According to Gim Mun-pyo, a literati of the 16th-century Joseon Dynasty, the space outside the perimeter of the yut diagram (which can be circular or square) symbolizes heaven, while the space within the perimeter symbolizes earth. Moreover, of the twenty-nine stations for the game pieces, the center station represents the Seven Stars and the twenty-eight surrounding stations represent the twenty-eight constellations (which comprise the Eastern cosmological mapping of the universe). The four possible paths of the game pieces symbolize winter solstice, summer solstice, vernal equinox, and autumnal equinox (i.e., the four seasons). The yut diagram, in short, can be viewed as a microcosmic representation of the universe.