Mahjong - a board game for four people, invented in China. As well there is very common game of solitaire mahjong - a board game for one person, on the structure and gameplay similar to the card game of patience.
The origin of mahjong can be traced from the depths of the past games, based on the collection of combinations of cards and dominoes, which played in China for centuries.
There are several theories to explain why the game was called so. Some argue that the sound of bones like chirping sparrows, while others believe that to get a winning bone as difficult as catching a sparrow. Sparrow in China is also a bird, symbolizing the quickness. For some soothsayers sparrow - a conductor, a visible representative of the invisible. On the other hand, it is possible that the current name of the game is merely a distorted name of its predecessor - “Ma-Tao”, which in some dialects is pronounced almost like “ma-chong”.