Time flies when you’re having fun. Today marks the 15th day in the lunar calendar, which means it is the last day of the Chinese New Year celebration also known as Chap Goh Meh. Chap Goh Meh derives from the Hokkien dialect—’chap goh’ translates to ‘fifteen’ and ‘meh’ means ‘night’.
On this auspicious evening, families gather together for a meal and prayers are held on a grander scale with fireworks. And if you’re looking for love, Chap Goh Meh is the Chinese equivalent of Valentine’s Day and your Mr or Mrs Right may just be an orange throw away. Forget Tinder, this is where you should be tonight:
1. Taman Tasik Jaya, Petaling Jaya
This is a go-to spot in the city for young maidens looking to toss oranges into the lake and for gentlemen to throw bananas. Yes, it’s all about equality these days. Courtship is made easier now with the help of social media, so perhaps you might want to write down your Instagram profile on that lucky tangerine. Be there by 7pm to secure your spot.
2. Esplanade, Penang
For those up north in Penang, a popular location for a wonderful night out is the Esplanade. With its close proximity to the sea, single ladies (and men) can practise the tradition of throwing oranges with ease. Besides that, you can also catch a dance performance by the Jiuzhaigou Tibetan Dance Group. The event is from 7.30pm till 10.30pm.
3. Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur
Besides throwing oranges, thanksgiving is held with a visit to the temple. Singles and couples also observe this tradition to pray for hope and love. Known as one of the oldest and largest temple in Southeast Asia, this holy ground will be hosting a number of events including a gala show, lion dances and a lantern festival, which Chap Goh Meh is also known for. You can head over for an eventful Chap Goh Meh and immerse yourself into the Chinese culture now until 10.30pm tonight.
4. Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang
At the famous temple in Penang, you will get to feast your eyes on a showcase of mesmerising lights along with 20,000 Chinese lanterns. This could be your last chance to witness this beautifully lit-up temple grounds as there are talks about stopping this 40-year-old tradition due to high maintenance. Opening time is until midnight tonight, and 8.30am to 10pm from tomorrow until 15 March.
Now what if you don’t enjoy crowded places?
Well, why not invite your family and friends over for dinner? Chap Goh Meh also marks the last day for family gatherings during the festive season. One fun activity that you can do with your house guests is to make tang yuen and have this as your dessert after that. Tang yuen is eaten during Chap Goh Meh and other reunion as it sounds similar to the Chinese words ‘tuan yuan’, which means reunion. This iconic dessert also symbolises harmony and togetherness, hence it will definitely be a meaningful Chap Goh Meh that you and your loved ones will cherish.
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