Guess What Quiz No.3

The picture shows part of something. Guess what is that ‘something’? You have to tell me what is this ‘something’ call and what is it use for?


The correct answer is Tong Sheng 通勝, Chinese Almanac. I don’t know since when it was called Tong Sheng instead of Tong Shu. I remember it was known as Tong Shu 通書 especially by the Cantonese but maybe the word “Shu” sounds like “losing” so this word was changed to “Sheng” which means “win”.

My first encounter with this very thick book was when my godmother used it to check some auspicious dates. I was only about 9 or 10 years old then, and I was attracted by the pictures and drawing in it;

Frankly until now, I still do not understand all the drawings in it.

This ‘book’ has been around for many many years and the meaning of Tong Shu means “a book that knows all”. Some people may check with this book on what one should or should not do on each day. But usually the Chinese will use it to check for auspicious dates for wedding, opening ceremony for their businesses, etc.

Take a look at the thread binding used for this thick book;

And this thread is enough to hold this thick book together! I’m impressed. The first page of the book usually is the boy and a cow working on a farm;

We may use it to check our age or year of birth and also our Chinese horoscope. Example my year of birth is 1962, I was 24 years old (1985) and born in the year of tiger;

Oh this book even has diagrams of foetus in the womb;

It shows the foetus from 1st month to 9th month and how is the position like when delivering. On the left is the talisman for pregnant woman who have offended the ‘Foetus God’, I think.

The most interesting part of this book is the portion where one can learn English;

It has a few pages where people can learn how the English alphabets and also some English words like those shown above. As the book is written in Cantonese, so it is more accurate to read it in Cantonese instead of Chinese. Take a look at the word “Saturday” and the pronunication in Cantonese. If we will to read the English word using the Cantonese pronunication, it sounds really weird. The whole book content seems to be printed in just Black and Red ink;

If you think that this Chinese Almanac is meant for those people who are superstitious, you are wrong. It does contain some Scientific content too. One can learn about Eclipse of the Sun or Moon from it;

The Chinese Almanac has more than 2000 years of history and it’s good to at least browse through it and take a look at its contents. If you wish to know more, you can take a look here.


What My Father Wrote ;


17 Responses to “Guess What Quiz No.3”

  1. 1 heyzanie Friday, October 9, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    The next 2 words gotta be “万象”. Was it part of a signage or couplet (对联)?

  2. 2 laokokok Friday, October 9, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Hi Heyzanie,
    You are right about the next 2 words but it’s not part of a signage (as in shop signage). It’s also not part of couplet.

  3. 3 Jun Wong Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    I made a wild guess then, is it a lantern?
    (Since Mooncake festival jus passed recently.)

  4. 4 laokokok Monday, October 12, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Nope, Jun Wong. It’s not lantern.

  5. 5 laokokok Monday, October 12, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Sorry the next 2 words are not right but the meaning is correct, Heyzanie.

  6. 6 xuejane Monday, October 12, 2009 at 10:44 am

    is it 包罗万有 ?part of book cover of 通胜 ?

  7. 7 island Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 8:36 am

    i’m guessing it is got to do with durians? signage at durian shop?

  8. 8 laokokok Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Yes Xuejane, you got it right. It’s part of the book Chinese Almanac or 通胜. I’m surprise the usual senior citizen gang is not guessing, probably too easy for them.

  9. 9 laokokok Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Durian? You are tempting me…

  10. 10 Jun Wong Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Never think of Chinese Almanac, which I should have seen it before when I was young.

    Btw, it’s not 杀他爹,rather it’s 杀拖爹 for saturday.

  11. 11 laokokok Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Hi Jun Wong,
    What I meant is that the literally translated meaning is ‘killing his dad’ but the actual meaning is shown on the left side column – ‘weekend’ or in this case : Saturday.

  12. 12 xuejane Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    great 🙂

    thanks for this interesting post too.
    i am glad to know this blog which brings back lots of fond old memories … lots to learn too.

  13. 13 Jun Wong Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Nope, its “Sha Tuo Die”, not “Sha Ta Die”…

    If it is being translated word by word,
    it mean killing, drag, dad.

    I am 100% sure its “Tuo” in the middle word, not “Ta”.

  14. 14 laokokok Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 7:41 am

    HI Jun Wong,
    Sorry my mistake. It’s Tuo as you said, what a mistake I made. Paisei.

  15. 15 Jun Wong Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 10:14 am

    No sorry for that, as sometimes I do make mistakes as well.

    Then, looking forward for your next quiz 🙂

  16. 16 Andy Wu Friday, February 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    was this book for sale?

  17. 17 Anonymous Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Whats up! I simply would like to give a huge thumbs up
    for the nice information youve gotten here on this post.

    I shall be coming back to your weblog for extra soon.

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