A world like ours needs a smile from time to time, and there is nothing better that spending our leisure hours with fun and entertaining activities, such as puzzles, riddles and trivia solving.
Puzzles come from ancient times, and archaeologists have found evidence of puzzles with a history that can be traced back thousand of years. In Persia, puzzles were part of mystical practices and religions.
Temples in Tibet, China and Japan have been found with engraved puzzles that reveal mathematical formulas engraved on the walls by monks. However, puzzles were also used as trivia to pass time and the origin of board games such as chess.
On the other hand, riddles are considered a modern entertainment form, but because they are more likely associated with the bards of the Middle Ages. The format of riddles, forming a question to be solved by guessing, facilitated their job as traveling entertainers.
Riddles were also a sort of trivia, passing messages on between people needing to share information that others could not understand, often compared with “undercover information.”
Puzzles, riddles and trivia were, in fact, the way to go when justice was behind dreamers wanting a better world, fighting against governments and rulers that otherwise would quiet their voice.
However, researchers consider that both puzzles and trivia have a common origin in religion, running parallel one to another. Many biblical verses and prophecies were written as a sort of guessing game, and you can easily find these riddles in the Torah, the Koran, the Rig-Veda, and even the Bible itself.
Ancient Greeks liked all the challenging games, celebrating banquets where trivia, puzzles, and riddles were both entertainment and competence, crowning the winners with laurel. Throughout time, riddles and puzzles have been spread widely all over the world by one means or another.
Nevertheless, trivia also contributed to fun in communal gatherings and family reunions often associated with tongue-in-cheek riddles to make the events more fun and entertaining. There is reference of riddle tournaments held in remote places such as the Fiji islands were the losers were placed laying on a feast for the champions.
Trivia and puzzles in Africa were used as ritual for young people that could not be considered an adult if they failed to solve them. In the Middle East, trivia and riddles were used as oracles consultation so women could find if they were meant to marry with the man of their dreams.
The history of puzzles, riddles and trivia also fascinate authors, painters and artist of all times that has contributed to the preservation this form of entertainment until today.