Character Riddles 字谜

       Chinese character riddles go back as far as the fifth century. The practice of giving a prize to the person who guesses a riddle correctly goes back at least as far as the Emperor Gaozu of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534).

 

       Guessing character riddles has been popular since the Song Dynasty (960-1279). During the Lantern Festival, riddles are put on lanterns for people to guess the answers, this is why character riddles are also called “lantern riddles”. Nowadays, this custom is still practiced in many places all over China.

 

        In order to guess a character riddle, you have to pay attention to the character’s shape, meaning and pronunciation.

 

        You can start with these ones. Click on the pictures to see the answer and the explanation.