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Quiz about Digging to China
Quiz about Digging to China

Digging to China Trivia Quiz


Did you know that if a llama dug a hole through the earth from Peru it would end up in China? As the Llamas' pet rabbit, I am well suited to digging - but what will I see at the end of the tunnel?

A multiple-choice quiz by flopsymopsy. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
flopsymopsy
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
349,284
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
2129
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
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Question 1 of 10
1. I must get better at digging: my first tunnel ended in the water off the Chinese shore. I managed to swim to the surface but racing towards me I saw several long narrow boats with weird monster heads, and I just knew they'd hit me with a paddle. What boats are a Chinese tradition now raced all over the world? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. I dug a new way into China and found myself face to face with another long creature, with four legs under a long body, and a brightly painted head with lots of fur. This prancing creature seemed to be celebrating something and there were drums and cymbals playing too. What had I hopped into? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. I dug a new branch of my tunnel into China but when I looked out there were people burning money and putting food out in the street! They talked about their relatives returning from the dead and how they needed to feed them so they could return to hell and wouldn't bring bad luck to the living. What do the Chinese call this time of placating the returning spirits? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. I tunneled my way into a Chinese street, full of people going clickety click click click clickety... they had enough small tiles to pave my bathroom! "I'll take that dragon to match this dragon, click, that bamboo matches this bamboo, clickety, that orchid matches this plum, click, click..." What ancient Chinese game were they playing? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. I had tunneled so far into China that I really needed a drink. The stall on the corner had a sign advertising 'pearl tea' but when I got closer I saw that the tea leaves had been rolled into small pellets which looked as though they might blow my tunnel sky high! What is the usual English term for this sort of tea? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. I had been digging my tunnel to China in the dark when I realized there was an easy way to solve that problem, I could order some Chinese lanterns! As my tunnel was small, I ordered some of the smallest lanterns available but when they arrived I wished I'd also ordered some safety pins and talcum powder. What is the smallest Chinese lantern size called? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. As I was tunneling into China I realized that my detour to the southern province of Jiangxi was going through a different sort of soil. I was digging through a clay mineral that is used in toothpaste, paint, cosmetics, medicine, and most importantly in Chinese ceramics. Often known as China Clay, what is another name for the material which gave the white, translucent effect to Chinese porcelain? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Digging my way into China wasn't going to be easy if I kept meeting tangled roots so I looked above ground to see what plants were holding me up. Mulberries, I knew it! There were caterpillars everywhere so I decided to get some shirts made. If you think about it for a non-cotton-picking minute you too might know what spins its magic after eating mulberry leaves? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. I dug my way into Imperial China and came up for air outside a former palace. There were two Chinese guardian lions right in front of me and they looked ready to pounce! Then I realized they were made of marble, one male, one female. What Chinese concept of dark and light do the guardian lions represent, always curving around, and dependent on, each other? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. I stopped digging into China when they made it plain I wasn't welcome. A Shaolin monk came at me with a long pole which he was clearly using belligerently, a bit like Little John in the Robin Hood stories. I shot back into my tunnel in case he shot me with his wooden staff, for which the proper Chinese name is... ? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. I must get better at digging: my first tunnel ended in the water off the Chinese shore. I managed to swim to the surface but racing towards me I saw several long narrow boats with weird monster heads, and I just knew they'd hit me with a paddle. What boats are a Chinese tradition now raced all over the world?

Answer: Dragon Boats

Dragon boats were originally from the Guangdong area of southern China but they gradually spread to other regions. Dragon boats have been raced for over 2,000 years, and - like the ancient Olympics - were part of religious festivals. However, it wasn't until the 1970s in Hong Kong that racing dragon boats became an international sport and it has since spread worldwide. The boats are decorated at the prow with a dragon head and often have a tail at the stern.

The dragon is a mythical creature in China, as it is in many other cultures. In China there were heavenly dragons, mountain dragons, and celestial dragons and worshipping the dragon gods was a way to avoid misfortune and encourage the rain necessary for growing crops. In the West, dragons were seen as an evil force, demanding sacrifices and destroying everything in their path. In China, and in other Asian countries, dragons were regarded as forces of good, so much so that the Emperor of China took the title 'The Dragon' to demonstrate his role as a beneficent provider.

A trireme was a galley used in the Mediterranean. It had three rows of oars, with one man per oar. Many triremes were decorated, with eyes, figurines, and other decorations designed to show the wealth or power of the owner.

Longships were used by the Vikings between the 9th and 13th centuries for trade and warfare across a lot of the northern hemisphere, particularly in Europe but as far afield as what we now call Canada. These Viking ships were long and narrow, with a shallow draft that meant they could go further up rivers than other craft and they were also very fast and highly manoeuvrable. A longship's bow was shaped like a dragon, but this time of a fierce Western sort, menacing the villagers whose land the Vikings came to pillage - the English even called them 'dragonships'.

There were many different sorts and sizes of galleons, the large ocean-going warships used by European powers during the 16th to 18th centuries. Most were under 500 tons but a few reached 2,000 tons; they were also designed to carry cannon, and often carried 2-300 guns, sometimes more. For example, the ships in the Spanish Armada sent to conquer England in 1588 were mostly galleons. A distinguishing feature of almost all galleons was that they had figureheads, carvings which either reflected the ship's name or which were intended to intimidate and threaten by conveying the power of the owner.

Hmm... see the dragon boat over there, the one on the left? Its tail has started twitching, time for me to get out of here!
2. I dug a new way into China and found myself face to face with another long creature, with four legs under a long body, and a brightly painted head with lots of fur. This prancing creature seemed to be celebrating something and there were drums and cymbals playing too. What had I hopped into?

Answer: Lion dance

There are different sorts of lion dances in China, and several more in other countries. In China, the lion dance involves two people - which distinguishes it from a dragon dance which needs lots of people. According to legend, a monk had a dream about all sorts of dreadful things and the gods told him that a lion could fight the evil. The monk had heard of lions but as there actually weren't any lions in China he had never seen one, so he took elements from all the magical creatures he knew and made a lion. Which may explain why a dancing Chinese lion has horns - sometimes more than one, sometimes a single horn like a unicorn. Some of them have eyes like an eagle's, and they're all brightly coloured. There are three main styles of lion dances - Chinese Northern, which was used to entertain the emperor's court, Chinese Southern, which was used in ceremonies designed to scare off evil spirits, and Taiwanese, which is integrated with martial arts. There are also lion dances in Japan and in Korea. Korean dancing lions are not brightly coloured at all, they remind me of Puli dogs (which remind me of floor mops, I've often considered getting one to do the kitchen floor). ;)

The Marinera is sometimes called the national dance of Peru; it's essentially the reenactment of a courtship. There are different versions in various parts of Peru, some slow, in some the women dance barefoot, and another version involves a man on a horse - and it's the horse that dances.

The Bunny Hop is a dance that comes from San Francisco and is a bit like a conga line with hopping. It has always appealed to me, and Mopsy, and Peter, and Cottontail not to mention the entire cast of 'Watership Down'. What a night out that would be!

The Chicken Dance was invented in Switzerland in the 1950s where it was called the Duck Dance. Then the Belgians got hold of it, then the Dutch, and eventually a German band performed it in the USA - Oklahoma to be precise. Someone at a local television station had the bright idea of donating a chicken costume to the performance and so the craze hit America. And Canada, and Australia, and no doubt several other places too embarrassed to own up. Anyway, in the USA, it has become the custom for the Chicken Dance to be performed at weddings. I don't know why, I just know the habit has not yet taken over the UK but if it does, I'm emigrating via this handy tunnel to China.
3. I dug a new branch of my tunnel into China but when I looked out there were people burning money and putting food out in the street! They talked about their relatives returning from the dead and how they needed to feed them so they could return to hell and wouldn't bring bad luck to the living. What do the Chinese call this time of placating the returning spirits?

Answer: Festival of the Hungry Ghosts

On the fifteenth day of the seventh lunar month in the Chinese calendar the realms of heaven and hell and the living are all open at the same time and ghosts are free, roaming the earth for food and pleasure. The whole month is given over to placating the ghosts. Meals are prepared and served ready for the ghosts to visit and eat the offerings, joss sticks are lit, and paper money (it's fake money, sometimes called 'hell paper') is burned so that ghosts are happy - and don't turn their wrath on the living. In modern times other things are also burned, such as paper houses, cars, televisions, and items that the ghosts might like. There are festivals and performances where the front rows are always empty - or rather, that's where the ghosts sit, you just can't see them. At the end of the month, special paper lanterns are placed on paper boats and floated away from the houses; these boats carry the ghosts back to hell and when the lanterns go out the ghost is home, and won't bother the living. Until next year...

The Ceremony of the Keys is held each night at the Tower of London, and has been held every night for over 700 years. Every night, through wars and plague, through the Great Fire of London and the Blitz, through floods, through everything. The keys are paraded and the outer gates are locked; the ceremony takes place at 10.00 p.m. and it is never late. Except once - during World War Two, a bomb blast knocked the escort carrying the keys off their feet; they picked themselves up, straightened their uniforms and carried on, but they were a few minutes late. The King sent a message saying that as enemy action was to blame no one should be punished, and the next night everything went back to normal.

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. It falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent after which certain foodstuffs were limited or even banned altogether for the duration - as a result Fat Tuesday, known in the English-speaking world as Shrove Tuesday, was the day when rich, fatty foods could be consumed before a time of fasting. These days, Mardi Gras is associated with carnival celebrations, particularly in New Orleans, Brazil, and Italy.

The Chinese love firecrackers but you're more likely to find party poppers at a party in the West. They contain about 16mg of gunpowder and when you pull a string that creates a friction-based charge, the popper releases streamers or confetti and makes a noise. Pop! I'm out of here, I don't like bangs!
4. I tunneled my way into a Chinese street, full of people going clickety click click click clickety... they had enough small tiles to pave my bathroom! "I'll take that dragon to match this dragon, click, that bamboo matches this bamboo, clickety, that orchid matches this plum, click, click..." What ancient Chinese game were they playing?

Answer: Mahjong

No one knows quite how old the game of mahjong is but if you've ever watched it played in a Chinese park or Chinatown somewhere then you'll know it's been around long enough for some of the players to get very fast indeed. It's certainly hundreds of years old, and probably originated as a card game - and is still played that way in some places. Mahjong is usually played as a game for four players, each of whom tries to build a legal hand made up of tiles dealt at the beginning of the game (some of which will be discarded as the game continues) and tiles taken from the 'wall' - the bank of tiles which didn't get dealt out - or from other players' discards. Legal hands consist of combinations of sets of tiles, e.g. four red dragons, two sets each with three tiles of the same sort in sequence, and a set of three identical tiles. And if you think that's complicated, the rest of the rules are even more so.

Chess seems simple by comparison, except of course it's not. Two players using a board with 64 squares and sixteen playing pieces each try to block the opponent's king until it can't move and is checkmated. Sounds easy, doesn't it?

Checkers, the American word for the British game of draughts, is also played on a board with 64 squares. At the start of the game, each player can only move his/her pieces forward until they get to the opposite end of the board at which point they are "kinged" and can then move backwards or forwards. Pieces are captured and removed from the board when the opponent's pieces jump over them. When one player has lost all his/her pieces or can't make a legal move, the game is over.

Ludo is a board game played with counters and dice. Each player has four counters of the same colour and throws dice to get them round the board; the winner is the first to get all four counters to the finish. In the Royal Navy there's a variation of Ludo called 'Uckers' - here the object is to get all the player's counters home without letting the opponent(s) get any of theirs home at all. I am proud to say that my father was a Royal Navy champion at Uckers and I shall always remember the look on his face when I beat him at Ludo; he didn't know whether to be proud or cry his eyes out. ;)
5. I had tunneled so far into China that I really needed a drink. The stall on the corner had a sign advertising 'pearl tea' but when I got closer I saw that the tea leaves had been rolled into small pellets which looked as though they might blow my tunnel sky high! What is the usual English term for this sort of tea?

Answer: Gunpowder tea

Gunpowder tea can be made using the leaves of several different varieties of tea, of which Oolong is the best known. The leaves are left to wither, then steamed and rolled into small round pellets which are then dried. In China tea made into pellets like this is called 'pearl tea' or 'bead tea' because of its shape. It is believed that the English term 'gunpowder tea' is also due to the shape because early guns used explosive pellets to propel bullets along the gun barrel. An alternative explanation is that the tea was named after the way the pellet of tea expands back into a long leaf of tea once the pellets are steeped in hot water.

Lapsang souchong is the oldest sort of black tea known to have existed; from the Fujian province in southern China, Lapsang is the only tea which is smoked over pinewood fires which cause its flavour. Darjeeling tea can be black, white, or oolong but it all comes from the Darjeeling area of West Bengal in India. Earl Grey is a blend of black teas that are flavoured by the addition of oil of bergamot. FunTrivia rules prevent me from telling you how my mother described this tea, but it had something to do with what comes out of a mosquito's bladder; it's probably the one thing where I have always been in total agreement with her. ;)
6. I had been digging my tunnel to China in the dark when I realized there was an easy way to solve that problem, I could order some Chinese lanterns! As my tunnel was small, I ordered some of the smallest lanterns available but when they arrived I wished I'd also ordered some safety pins and talcum powder. What is the smallest Chinese lantern size called?

Answer: Baby's Bottom

There are five basic sizes of Chinese lanterns, ranging from the Baby's Bottom to the Buddha's Gastronomy - and as anyone looking at a statue of the Buddha will tell you, he wasn't thin! The Chinese use lanterns for many different ceremonies and celebrations that vary in different communities around the world. In mainland China, the main Lantern Festival is the official end to the Chinese New Year whereas in Singapore and Malaysia they use a lantern festival to mark the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The Davy lamp is a safety lamp intended for use in mines where there might be flammable gases. It was invented by Sir Humphry Davy in 1815 who discovered that keeping the flame behind a fine mesh meant that air could get through to keep the flame lit but the flame could not get through the mesh and ignite any gas in the vicinity. Better still, if gas was present, the flame would burn a different colour, thus alerting miners to danger. A lantern made using the same principles as a safety lamp was used in 2012 to transport the Olympic Flame to Britain. Taking a naked flame on board an aeroplane is not a good idea but enclosing it in a safety lamp solved that problem nicely.

A lava lamp has a tapered glass container capped with metal and with a metal base which holds a bulb, either halogen or incandescent. The glass container is filled with blobs of wax, mixed with mineral oil and carbon tetrachloride, floating in a clear liquid - when the bulb is lit, the heat affects the density of the wax mixture and the blobs float to the surface, where they cool and descend. Lava lamps were invented by Edward Craven-Walker in 1963 (who called them Astro lamps) and can be seen in many images and movies from the Swinging Sixties.

A Will-o'-the-wisp isn't a lantern at all, it's a ghostly light seen at night which flickers and dims, drawing travelers ever closer until they leave the safe paths and meet their doom. The phenomenon is found in many different countries with different names but Will-o'-the-wisp is primarily a British manifestation. The evil goblin-like creatures holding the Will-o'-the-wisps would lure travelers into deep woods then abandon them, and sometimes even leave them at the top of steep cliffs with no way out except down.

The small Baby's Bottom lanterns are often used with strings of Christmas lights and would be ideal for a tiny tunnel like mine. I think I'll go put some up in case there's a Will-o'-the-wisp down there!
7. As I was tunneling into China I realized that my detour to the southern province of Jiangxi was going through a different sort of soil. I was digging through a clay mineral that is used in toothpaste, paint, cosmetics, medicine, and most importantly in Chinese ceramics. Often known as China Clay, what is another name for the material which gave the white, translucent effect to Chinese porcelain?

Answer: Kaolin

Kaolin takes its name from the French version of a Chinese village called Kao-ling in the area around Jingdezhen, known as the porcelain capital of the world. Kaolin clay contains a mineral properly known as Kaolinite and it is this which gives the white translucence to ceramics. Jingdezhen porcelain can also be very thin and finely decorated; some of the highest prices ever paid for antique porcelain have been for Jingdezhen ware.

Crinoline started out as a stiff material made from horsehair and cotton or linen but in the middle of the 19th century the name was used for a stiff underskirt or metal 'cage' used to make a domed shape for women's skirts. In the early 1860s the shape changed, accentuating the back of the skirt with a flat profile at the front but that shape was achieved better with a bustle and so the fashion for crinolines faded away. However, the concept is still used in some long dresses today although the crinoline is less likely to be made of metal and more likely to use a stiff fabric, though not one involving horsehair!

Coir is a fibre made from the husk of a coconut, the part of the husk between the shell and the rough outer coating. Ropes have been made from coir for hundreds, probably thousands, of years and used in ships across Asia, both for hauling and rigging sails. Coir is also used for floor mats, packing materials, upholstery, brushes, and other domestic and industrial uses. Coir has many other uses, including as a substitute for sphagnum moss in horticulture and to prevent soil erosion.

Kale is a type of cabbage which includes a wide range of cultivars, including broccoli, cauliflower, and spring greens. Kale is very popular in China as a stir fry vegetable, usually with beef. In fact, that sounds like a good idea - I'm off to lunch!
8. Digging my way into China wasn't going to be easy if I kept meeting tangled roots so I looked above ground to see what plants were holding me up. Mulberries, I knew it! There were caterpillars everywhere so I decided to get some shirts made. If you think about it for a non-cotton-picking minute you too might know what spins its magic after eating mulberry leaves?

Answer: Silkworm

In case anyone is confused let me start by saying that silkworms aren't worms. Silkworms are the caterpillar or larva forms of the silkworm moth (Latin name: Bombyx mori), a breed which is completely domesticated and doesn't exist in the wild. If you find a wild silkworm it's actually a tame silkworm that is really annoyed. ;) The moth lays eggs, the eggs hatch, the larvae eat mulberry leaves (they prefer white mulberry but any colour will do), they moult, and when they have moulted four times already (that's what I call moulting larva) they make a cocoon with a thread from their saliva glands. That thread, or filament, will be 1,000 to 3,000 feet (300 to 900 meters) long and consists of raw silk. Worldwide, about 70 billion miles of silk filament is produced annually (as of 2009).

Slow worms aren't worms either. Found in Eurasia, slow worms are lizards without legs. No, legless lizards have not been drinking too much, they just don't have legs; honestly, give the lizard a break will you? Slow worms eat slugs and worms, and spend a lot of time hiding under logs or in compost heaps.

Earthworms are those brown, slightly slimy creatures we all have in our gardens, unless you don't have a garden in which case you can't feed the greedy robins who sit on my fence waiting for me to dig up worms for them.

Danny Kaye sang a song about the Inchworm but I don't know if he knew they are the caterpillars of geometer moths. I don't like moths much, that's why I'm hanging about in this tunnel!
9. I dug my way into Imperial China and came up for air outside a former palace. There were two Chinese guardian lions right in front of me and they looked ready to pounce! Then I realized they were made of marble, one male, one female. What Chinese concept of dark and light do the guardian lions represent, always curving around, and dependent on, each other?

Answer: Yin and yang

The concept of yin yang (which doesn't actually need an 'and' in the middle) translates as dark and light and shows how apparently opposing forces are in fact dependent on each other and indeed exist only in relation to each other: dark and light, cold and hot, female and male (like the lions) - all these are regarded as opposites in the Western world but in Chinese philosophy they are connected and interdependent. Furthermore there is no absolute strength or dominance in any one 'side' - each may be different in different objects and the prevalence of one over the other may change over time. The guardian lions represent yin (female) and yang (male); the female lion is there to guard the people living inside a dwelling, the male guards the building itself. Placing the lions is important in feng shui - as you look out of a building facing the same way as the lions, the male should be on the left.

Dim sum is a style of Chinese food served either as bite-sized pieces or as single portions in steamer baskets or on small dishes. Dim sum was originally from Canton (now called Guangdong), the area of southern China closest to Hong Kong. Food served as part of dim sum includes dumplings containing many different sorts of meat, fish, and vegetables, roasted meat, soups, vegetables - small servings of food, cooked mostly by steaming or frying. Dim sum was originally a form of snack food but it is now usually served as a complete meal at which everyone can choose what they want from the wide variety of small helpings.

Donner and Blitzen are two of Santa's reindeer. There are nine reindeer altogether; I mention that because I got it wrong in a quiz once so now I know - and so do you!

Helter skelter is a funfair ride consisting of a tower with a spiral round the outside. Americans call them tornado rides but I'm not sure I fancy sliding down one of those, tornadoes are nasty vicious things that can play havoc with a rabbit's ears. I could build a helter skelter at the entrance to my tunnel and charge for admission; that might be fun and profitable - I'll get right to it!
10. I stopped digging into China when they made it plain I wasn't welcome. A Shaolin monk came at me with a long pole which he was clearly using belligerently, a bit like Little John in the Robin Hood stories. I shot back into my tunnel in case he shot me with his wooden staff, for which the proper Chinese name is... ?

Answer: Gun

The monks of the Shaolin monastery in Henan province were highly proficient at martial arts and their prowess is recorded in many works of Chinese literature. One of the skills for which Shaolin monks were most famous was their use of the 'gun', the Chinese word for staff or stick. The standard gun is thicker at one end than the other but some are more like flails, made up of two or three linked parts. A standard gun is cut to just under the height of its user. The gun can be twirled, flipped, smashed and knocked - often in a highly aggressive fashion, although displays can be deceptively graceful.

In mediaeval England ploughing was done using oxen. The ploughman manhandled the plough so that it created a furrow, the ploughman's boy controlled the oxen so they pulled in the right direction - and to do this the boy used a stick. In the days of Henry II this stick was called a perch, in the fifteenth century it was called a rod, and in the sixteenth century it was called a pole - they're all the same measure: the distance from the lead ox's nose to the back of the plough, which was standardised to 5.5 yards. Forty poles (or rods or perches) is equal to one furlong and there are eight furlongs to the mile. I'll let you work that out while I go off to measure the length of my tunnel.
Source: Author flopsymopsy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor stedman before going online.
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