Q+A with Anne and Caroline of Holy Mahj

For the love of the game. Learn more about the group that’s growing excitement for American mahjong, a tile-based game, that is taking the Lowcountry by storm.

The photo shows scattered green tiles during a game of American Mahjong

Holy Mahj play + teach American Mahjong.

Photo by Russell Powell PR

Table of Contents

Mahjong is a movement. City Editor Callie here. Last month, I wrote a piece about a new generation of American mahjong players emerging in Charleston + more recently had the chance to join Holy Mahj at The Charleston Place for Mahjong Mondays.

Now, I can say I fully understand the hype, and it’s 100% warranted. IMO, this is the perfect game to build a community; I had so much fun learning the game + even more fun connecting and chatting with the ladies at my table. Highly recommend trying it out for yourself.

Keep reading to learn more about Holy Mahj as I recently chatted with the owners.

This photo shows Anne + Caroline local Charleston-based Mahjong Instructors.

Meet Anne + Caroline of Holy Mahj, local Charleston-based Mahjong Instructors.

Photo by holymahj

Learn about Holy Mahj

Tell us about your group:
We are Anne + Caroline of Holy Mahj, local Charleston-based mahjong instructors. Holy Mahj was born in Charleston, the Holy City, and we love sharing the game we love with so many groups of players, which range from new to advanced. We have been teaching mahjong in Charleston since June of 2023. Although this is a job for us, we’ve found so much joy in teaching the Charleston community, bringing joy and laughter to Charlestonians in such a short amount of time, and working with amazing local businesses.

How did you get started?
We started teaching large groups of friends over the summer and quickly realized the demand and started hosting larger events this past fall. It has snowballed from there, and we feel so lucky to be able to share this wonderful game with so many people!

What style of mahjong do you play?
We play + teach American mahjong. We teach a very simplified version and offer 101 and 201 classes for those who want to advance their mahjong skills. We are working on expanding our offerings to group play and tournaments.

Is this group beginner-friendly?
Absolutely! The majority of our events are for first-time players and people wanting to get up to speed. It’s also a great way to meet new people + form your group. We love hearing from our beginner groups as they spread their wings and begin playing on their own with friends.

For those just learning the game, what is the most important thing to know?
Grace. Give yourself a lot of it as you are learning; it takes time to grasp the game, so be patient. The more you play, the quicker you catch on. And lastly, you can never use a joker with a single or a pair.

How to start playing

Holy Mahj and The Charleston Place are teaming up for Mahjong Mondays every other Monday in February and March. The fun starts today, Feb. 12; hotel guests and locals of all skill levels are invited to play American mahjong. Tickets are $100 and include a glass of wine or bubbly. Recommendation: sign up soon; open spots don’t last long.

Try this

If you attend a Mahjong Mondays session be sure to try The Charleston Assist. The signature drink crafted and presented by The Charleston Place, daysie, and Holy Mahj is delicious, and you can make it at home.

  • Rim a rock glass with fresh lemon zest and coarse salad
  • 2oz of tequila blanco
  • 1/2oz Cointreau
  • 1oz limoncello
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4oz Daysie Coconut Almond syrup
  • Shake + serve over ice
  • Garnish with a lemon slice

Gear up

Interested in joining the fun? Arrive in style with the top-of-the-line tile sets and accessories from The Mahjong Line. Check out this set from one of our affiliates and start playing.

Stay tuned. Over the next few months, we’ll introduce you to more local mahjong groups. Pro tip: Some Charleston County Public Library branches offer sessions to learn + play for free.