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History of Mahjong


A lot of debate and theories have ensued over the origins of Mahjong. An interesting theory suggests that Mahjong was played during the 40 days and 40 nights of rain on Noah’s Ark, dating the game way back to 2350 BC. It is said that during the storm, East had been the prevailing wind and became the basis of decision for playing Mahjong.

A more recent and fascinating story says that Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher cultivated Mahjong around 500 BC. The evolution and spread of the game coincides with the travels of Confucius when he went places to teach his new doctrines. Experts point out that the three ‘Cardinal’ tiles represent the three cardinal virtues taught by the great man. Chung (middle) the Red for benevolence, Fa (the Green) for prosperity and sincerity and Po (white) for filial piety. It is also said that the name Mah Jong meaning ‘Hemp Bird’ comes from Confucius’s love for birds.