At the turn of each year, Korean people buzz about the new animal of the year based upon the Chinese zodiac and everything it stands for.
The deep-rooted culture, which goes all the way back to ancient totemism, has been transfigured in modern society into a wish-making slogan or marketing keyword.
Following the year 2019, which marked the year of the “Golden Pig,” this is the year of “White Mouse,” a symbol of wealth, fortune and prosperity. While the mouse is the first animal in the 12-year calendrical cycle, the white mouse -- or metal mouse, depending on the interpretation of the zodiac -- is considered the leader of all mice.
Wishing good luck for the new year and its animal symbol, Seoul is decorated with mouse-related features and light decorations. Alongside the Cheonggye Stream and throughout the downtown Myeong-dong and Gwanghwamun areas, night illuminations brighten up the city’s winter nightscape, luring residents and visitors to take a stroll.
Photographed by Park Hyun-koo
Written by Bae Hyun-jung