An Introduction to the 8 South Korean Animal Symbolism

An Introduction to the 8 South Korean Animal Symbolism - The Daebak Company

In many countries, animals have been seen as omens. Each culture has its interpretations and beliefs on what animal symbolizes. Like insects, mammals, and mythological creatures, South Korean animal symbolism represents good and evil.

When you go to the U.S. or Europe, some consider black cats a sign of bad luck. The Egyptians believe all cats, including black ones, bring good luck and symbolize royalty. We introduce you to some of the important animals in Korean culture and what they represent.

Top 8 South Korean Animal Symbolism 


The number one on our Korean animals symbolism list is the bat! These winged mammals represent good fortune, despite many people being frightened by them. They became symbols of good luck because the Chinese ideogram for "bat" is pronounced the same as the Korean "good fortune."

Bats have been used for embroidery on fabrics, such as pillows and even in Korean palaces. As it was believed they were supposed to live up to 1,000 years, bats also represent longevity.


Butterflies' South Korean animal symbolism is pleasure, a life of prosperity, and joy. In traditional Korean art, butterflies are often seen with flowers. When shown together, they have a slightly different meanings. Together, they represent a state of contentment and prosperity.

Butterflies also symbolize harmony among a husband and wife and the entire family. The peony and butterflies are often the focal points for many designs ranging from lockets, hair pins, and even funeral biers.

Bring prosperity and joy to your life and your pets with the Cat and Dog Hanbok Cape Scarf with butterfly design! They are available in six colors in five different sizes.


Red-crested white cranes are considered holy and spiritual. It was believed that people who lived their lives full of great solitude would become cranes when they passed away. They can also be found in clothing, architecture, and many other objects.  

These Korean animal symbolisms have made it into modern items like the Mother of Pearl Wireless Charger! You can get one with a pair of cranes that symbolize married couples' good relationships. 


Turtles are the ruler of all insects because dragons rule over all animals. Since they live longer than other animals, longevity is associated with them and knowledge of the future.

Three thousand years ago, it was once believed that turtles could predict the future because frequently, their shells would aid in seeing the future. Because of this, turtles can be seen throughout Buddhist Temples and monuments.


Roosters symbolize intelligence, patience, trust, and bravery. They are considered good omens in Korean culture. It also has been said that when they crow, evil spirits vanish. They can be found in historic buildings and paintings.

During the year of the rooster of Lunar New Year, roosters can be found on various things throughout South Korea that celebrate this particular animal.


Korean mythology states dragons were born from a mating ritual between a phoenix and a crane. This led the dragon to become a creature that harnessed mythical power and intelligence.

Dragons ward off evil spirits and bring good luck. They can be found on paintings hanging on the walls of homes, on historic buildings, statues, and more.


Another Korean mythical creature is the haetae, a creature similar to that of the Chinese culture known as xiezhi. The Haetae is known to have very distinct characteristics from different animals from lions, sheep, and a unicorn. 

These creatures also possess scales and feathers on their bodies and can even have a horn or two. This creature is believed to protect against fire. Statues of the haetae found in front of buildings, such as Gwanghwamun Plaza, are made from wood. Some people will put these statues in front of their homes, seeking protection from the mythical creature.

If you want to seek protection and other Korean animal symbolism representation mentioned about the haetae, you can get the Everyday Seoul Earrings and Piercings Set! Feel protected by also leveling up your everyday accessories with this set.



Tigers are depicted throughout Korean culture, especially in folklore and paintings. Tigers' Korean animal symbolism is resilience, strength, and wisdom. As you strive for strength in your everyday work, you can hold our Chubby Tiger Stress Balls, available in three colors.

They also offer protection as guardians from evil spirits and bad luck. Tigers may seem too fierce, but the Chubby Tiger Flat Rug and Tiger Jordy Rug bring tigers' cuteness and ensure they protect you from evil spirits at your doorstep!

Tigers can be found throughout paintings, sculptures, clothing items, and even jewelry. Currently, people love to include this animal in other modern things like the BT21 Tiger Keyring

The Deabak Company also wants to bring you the Korean culture experience by offering tiger-related stationery sets with the Sarangbang Tiger notepad and 3D card. Complete the writing experience by getting the Monami Eonheungi Pen Set too!

Animals are a big part of different cultures and will continue to be years from now. Now that you have read about the eight animals important in Korean culture and their Korean animal symbolism, tell us your favorite in the comments. You can also comment on your favorite animals in your own culture! We would love to know more about them.

If you want an item representing these animals from our Korean animal symbolism list, get items with modern and historical designs on The Deabak Company!

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Written by Brianna Giles

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