Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chap Goh Meh

The 15th day of Chinese New Year, which is known as Chap Goh Meh (Hokkien), marks the finale of Chinese New Year. Similar to the ushering in at Chinese New Year Eve, most families will gather for a delicious meal and houses are once again brightly lit.

I’ve also heard of some old time stories about Chap Goh Meh in Penang, where in olden days, young women who are not allowed to go out and meet people often, will be allowed to be out of their houses to cast tangerines or mandarin oranges into the sea or river with hopes and prayers to find a good husband. Hmm…wonder if that actually works!

But in traditional Chinese culture in China, Chap Goh Meh is also celebrated as the Lantern Festival or Yuan-Xiao Festival (元宵節). As the first lunar month is called yuan-month and in the ancient times people called night as “Xiao” in Chinese, plus 15th day is the first night to see a full moon, this day is then called Yuan-Xiao Festival in China.

According to the Chinese tradition, at the very beginning of a new year, when there is a bright full moon hanging in the sky, there should be thousands of colorful lanterns hung out for people to appreciate. At this time, people will try to solve the puzzles on the lanterns too and eat tang-yuan (glutinous rice ball) while getting all their families united in the joyful atmosphere.

I’ll be joining my hubby’s family plus the extended family members for a big dinner tonight in one of hubby’s auntie’s house…am sure it’s gonna be a long night. What about you? How are your celebrating Chap Goh Meh? Throwing some mandarin oranges?

33 comments:

mumsgather said...

I'm having food poisoning so it will be a quiet one at home. Haha.

zewt said...

i have to work ler...

cbenc12 said...

hafta work and a boring nite lor.. :(

sharlydia said...

mumsgather - i hope your tummy is feeling good again now...

zewt - poor thing!

cbenc12 - hmmm...mayb look forward to something different next year?

Dio Brando said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dio Brando said...

I was brought up in a family that dun follow any of the traditional chinese customs... so it was just another ordinary day

sharlydia said...

dio - well it may not be in ur family's tradition, but u can always start celebrating this occasion with ur wife & baby...

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