Shangri-La Hotel, Ningbo Brings Mahjong Back To Its Roots

Dating back over 250 years, Mahjong is a game that tests both strategy and patience and has become the world’s most popular game. According to a history of the game, Ningbo was the original birth place of the Mahjong, which later became popular across China and was introduced to the West in 1920. Ready to celebrate the popular game’s origins in its historic birthplace, Shangri-La Hotel, Ningbo was thrilled to host the Shangri-La Cup Mahjong Mind Sport Asian Elite Invitational 2016 in October.

“As the original birthplace of Mahjong, no other place is better than Ningbo to host an international Mahjong tournament”, said James Xi, general manager of Shangri-La Hotel, Ningbo.

The Mahjong International League (MIL), the only globally-recognized Mahjong organization, supervised the Shangri-La Cup Mahjong Mind Sport Asian Elite Invitational 2016. The tournament welcomed 200 players from around the world, 30 of whom are international Mahjong champions from Asia and Europe.

Unique to this tournament, the two-day event enforced the International Mahjong Rules and, for the first time, implemented Ningbo Mahjong Rules to honor the game’s roots.

“Many local Ningbonese contestants appreciated incorporating the Ningbo Mahjong Rules into the tournament,” said Xi. “We believe this tournament created a historical moment in the effort to develop Ningbo Mahjong into a globally recognized game.”

Throughout the event, competitors, guests and colleagues could purchase themed souvenirs including pillows, toys and more to help support Ling Feng Migrant Workers’ Children School, which helps educate over 1,500 children of migrant workers from low-income families.

The hotel collected RMB20,000 (about USD2,905) from the souvenir sales, all of which will be donated to the organization. To ignite a passion for Mahjong in the next generation, the hotel gifted plush toys that were sold at the tournament.

The hotel looks forward to hosting future Mahjong tournaments, celebrating its historic city’s heritage and helping support its EMBRACE beneficiary.