When Flowers Bloom, Think Of The Moon (2021) Historical Context

Actor Yoo Seung Ho and actress Hyeri are set to star in KBS historical drama “When flowers bloom, think of the moon” (literal translation) in the second half of 2021, hurrayy!

Yoo Seung Ho will act as Nam Young, a supervisory officer of firm principles with good looks. Hyeri will act as Kang Ro Seo, who sells alcohol to pay off her family’s debts.

We all know how Yoo Seung Ho’s visuals shine in saguek (historical dramas)-

무사 백동수 15회 여운(유승호)
Photo Credits Drama “Warrior Baek Dong-soo” (2011)
군주' 유승호, 대체불가 마성의 매력의 세자 캐릭터
Photo Credits Drama “The Emperor: Owner of the Mask” (2017)
조선마술사' 3차 포스터 공개…유승호·고아라 커플 케미 - 중앙일보
Photo Credits Movie “The Magician” (2015)
유승호의 사극 비주얼 : 네이버 블로그
Photo Credits

and Hyeri has shown developments in various dramas & tried her first saguek movie “Monstrum” as well.

응답하라 1988 박보검혜리 어깨동무 다정샷 둘 다 예뻐 | 한경닷컴
Photo Credits Drama “Reply 1998” (2015)
DC 혜리 갤러리 no Twitter: "[#청일전자미쓰리] #이선심 스틸컷 #혜리 #Hyeri… " .
Photo Credits Drama “Miss Lee” (2019)
영화 '물괴'에 왜 이런 게? 평가가 나쁠 수밖에 없는 이유 - 오마이스타
Photo Credits Historical movie “Monstrum” (2018)
연기력' 논란에도 드라마 PD들이 혜리를 캐스팅하는 이유 : 네이버 포스트
Photo credits Drama “Two Cops” (2017)

The drama is set in the backdrop of a period in Joseon when there was prohibition of alcohol- an interesting period of Joseon that has never been a significant part of a plot of a K-drama/movie. Before we enjoy this new drama in the second half of 2021, let’s take a look at the historical backdrop of this drama! 🙂

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Alcohol Prohibition in Joseon

Alcohol ban was called “Geum Joo Ryung”, referring to a law in the Joseon era that prohibited people from drinking alcohol when the country was going through major draught or natural disasters that made harvest difficult.

금주법 시대, 사람들은 어떻게 술을 마셨을까? - 마시즘
Photo Credits

In this ancient period, difficulties of the nation like draughts and natural disasters were considered to be signs of gods’ anger. To appease the gods’ anger and cut down on unnecessary costs, a ban on alcohol was imposed. Even during rites in the royal palace, tea, instead of alcohol, was used.

South Korean Drinking Culture
Photo credits

Alcohol consumption was allowed in certain exceptional cases, such as when foreign ambassadors visited the royal palace and during weddings or ancestral rites of the commoners. The ban also did not apply strictly to poor commoners whose livelihood depended on selling alcohol.

조선의 며느리들도 제사가 싫었을까 - 중앙일보
Photo Credits. A painting depicting “ancestral rites”

Due to all these exceptions and the practical difficulty of imposing a ban, “Geum Joo Ryung” was carried out less like a ban and more like a nation-wide effort of refraining from excessive alcohol consumption.

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