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.

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