Lantern riddles are displayed during traditional Chinese festivals, such as the Chinese Lantern Festival, Chinese middle autumn festival, etc. The full name of ‘Lantern Riddles‘ are ‘riddles written on lanterns‘.
In ancient China, people believed that it was as difficult to kill a tiger as it was to guess a lantern puzzle, so, it had another name – tiger lantern. Usually, there were four riddles written on red vertical strips of paper pasted to each lantern which was attached by a string.
The guessing tradition can date back to more than 2,000 years ago. In the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD), guessing riddles gradually became a contest among men. It reached its peak in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) when it is became popular among all the people.
The main subjects of the riddles included traditional songs, poems, stories or historical events, etc.
A example of Lantern Riddles
Riddles: What’s full of holes but still holds water?
Answer: a sponge