The Lantern Festival is the grand finale of the Chinese New Year celebration. On this night, people hang beautiful lanterns all around town. On each one is written a riddle on which everyone tests their powers of deduction.
Here at Yun Boutique, we’re giving this ancient tradition a digital twist. Starting Friday Feb. 19, we’ll release one riddle a day on this blog post. Comment with your guesses, and the answers will be revealed the following day on a separate post.
For every correct answer, you'll get $10 of Yun Boutique credit, which will tallied at the end of our 12-day contest. Stay tuned on Facebook and Instagram for new riddles. But remember: only comments on THIS POST made BEFORE the answers are revealed at noon EST will be counted. Please note that we will only make your comments visible after the answer is revealed, so as to prevent copying responses.
(Hint: all the answers are related to Chinese culture. Good luck!)
My bottom-heavy physique does not embarrass me. When I take to the stage you’ll all applaud me. What am I?
Answer 12: Pipa.
Known as the Chinese lute, the pear-shaped pipa is one of the classic instruments of China and has a melodious sound when plucked.
I stand straighter than a soldier. You can call me heartless but I take it as a compliment. What am I?
Answer 11: Bamboo.
Bamboo grows stock straight and has a hollow core. In Chinese literature, bamboo alludes to a man with upright character and an unburdened heart.
Grace and deadly accuracy are one and the same. Though I wear two faces I have but one name. What am I?
Answer 10: Wushu OR Classical Chinese dance
The Chinese words for “dance” and “martial arts” are both pronounce “wu,” which is no accident because the two art forms share the same root.
Kings revere me, sages praise me. Other stones would be green with envy. What am I?
Answer 9: Jade.
Confucius once called jade “the gentleman’s stone” because it embodies the traits of a noble person. Jade is the most prized of all gemstones in China.
My life begins inside a milk-white coffin. Sadly, I don’t escape too often. What am I?
My well runs black, but lucky for you it’s not for drinking. What am I?
Answer 7: Ink stone.
One of the essentials at a Chinese scholar’s desk, an ink stone holds the ink, and is often richly carved in designs meant to inspire writing.
This winter baby’s pretty in pink but tougher than you think. What is it?
Answer 6: Plum Blossom.
Plum blossoms only bloom in the wintertime, making them a symbol for strength in adverse conditions.
In life I bask in the sun; in death I swim. What am I?
Answer 5: Tea leaves.
Tea plants grow on sunny hillsides; their dried leaves are a favorite brew all over the world. This was a tough one!
You cannot see me, but I dance by your side. I hear what you hear, until I retire at night. What am I?
Answer 4: Your earrings!
The birds in my branches are not birds. The soil at my roots is not soil. What am I?
Answer 3: Coral.
Coral anchors to on hard surfaces in the ocean and grows branches like a tree. Coral reefs provide shelter to diverse species of tropical fish.
My pranks are more trick than treat, but I’m the smartest creature you’ll ever meet. What am I?
Answer 2: Monkey.
2016 is the year of the monkey. Those born under this sign are said to be mischievous but brilliant and independent.
My booming voice will certainly alarm, so when it comes to pest control, I’m the charm. What am I?
Chinese people set off firecrackers during Chinese New Year because they scare away a mythical beast that used to terrorize villagers at the beginning of each year.
Produced and edited by Christine Lin.
Welcome in 2017 and the Year of the Rooster with this ancient tale from the Spring and Autumn period - how the once over-sensitive Rooster cultivated into a calm and magnificent warrior.