Lantern Festival’s Riddles

Lantern Festival (元宵节or Yuánxiāo jié) is celebrated on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year to mark the end of the Spring Festival. It is called the Lantern Festival because on this day Chinese people will light up thousands of colored lanterns to light up the night sky.

How is the Lantern Festival celebrated?

Eat Tang Yuan

Chinese people eat glutinous rice dumplings called tang yuan during the Lantern Festival, because the word tang yuan sounds similar to tuan yuan which means “reunion”. Families eat tang yuan to symbolize auspiciousness of family reunion, harmony and happiness for the whole family members. The round shape of tang yuan also symbolizes completeness as the word yuan is the same in tuan yuan. 

Light Up Lanterns

As the name suggests, people light up many bright colorful lanterns during the Lantern Festival to symbolize their wish for a bright future. This is also a day to commemorate the ancestors and some say the lanterns are lit so the ancestors could find their way home.

Guess Riddles

Traditionally, riddles are written on the lanterns as a form of entertainment during the celebration. In the old days, this was a day when single women would go out and mingle with others by guessing riddles on the lanterns.

Here are some Lantern Festival’s riddles in Chinese for kids. Can you guess what they are?

Riddle 1:

五个兄弟,Five brothers,

住在一起,living together,

名字不同,different names,

高矮不齐。uneven height.

Hint: body parts

Riddle 2:

弟兄七八个,Seven or eight brothers,

围着柱子坐,sitting around a pillar,

只要一分开,as soon as they separate,

衣服就扯破。their clothes are torn.

Hint: a cooking ingredient

Riddle 3:

一个小姑娘,A little girl,

生在水中央,born at the center of the water,

身穿粉红衫,wearing a pink shirt,

坐在绿船上。sitting on a green boat.

Hint: a type of flower