All entries for Thursday 18 January 2007

January 18, 2007

Crackers' Jokes Vs Chinese Lantern Puzzles–Two

Follow-up to Crackers' Jokes Vs Chinese Lantern Puzzles–one from Shuang's blog

By comparing with the Cracker¡¯s jokes, I find on Chinese Lantren Festival, we Chinese have such kind of custom to guess the puzzle on the Lanterns.
The 15th day of the 1st lunar month is the Chinese Lantern Festival because the first lunar month is called yuan-month and in the ancient times people called night Xiao. The 15th day is the first night to see a full moon. So the day is also called Yuan Xiao Festival in China.
According to the Chinese tradition, at the very beginning of a new year, when there is a bright full moon hanging in the sky, there should be thousands of colorful lanterns hung out for people to appreciate. At this time, people will try to solve the puzzles on the lanterns and eat yuanxiao (glutinous rice ball) and get all their families united in the joyful atmosphere.
But the Lantern puzzles are different from those Crackers¡¯ jokes. The jokes in crackers are usually play with the puns, while the Lantern puzzles are tricky on the complex structure of Chinese characters.
-Jokes and puzzles in general are usually for entertaining in all the cultures.
-Some jokes/puzzles could express feelings.( like the Chinese puzzle)
-Puns play an important role in the British jokes.
-When reading a joke, people should put it into the certain culture background.

Crackers' Jokes Vs Chinese Lantern Puzzles–one

When I went to Somerset during Christmas, before the Christmas dinner, the first thing we did was to pull crackers. Then we had dinner with the bright hats that looked like paper crowns. Then we red the jokes in the Crackers. The one I red was as follows:
why doesn’t the snowman get married?
because he has cold feet
To be frank, I did not understand at that moment. Then after their laughing, my host explained to me that in English if it said someone got cold feet meant that he was frightened to do something.
Another one I remember and could understand just at that moment:
Three are men sitting in one boat. The boat is in the middle of a lake, so they couldn’t get contact with other people on land. If they want to smoke, what should they do?
The answer is : “they just throw one of them into the water, in order to make the boat lighter”
Then after I came back, I found more information about the crackers.
In 1847, almost by accident, Tom Smith invented the cracker. It was a simple idea which became an integral part of British celebration and tradition which still continues today, 150 years on. In it’s simple form a cracker is a small cardboard tube covered in a brightly coloured twist of paper. When the cracker is ‘pulled’ by two people, each holding one end of the twisted paper, the friction creates a small explosive ‘pop’ produced by a narrow strip of chemically impregnated paper. The cardboard tube tumbles a bright paper hat, a small gift, a balloon and a motto or joke.

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