Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chap Goh Meh 元宵节快乐!Chinese Valentine's Day

Yuan Xiao festival

Last night, I met up with several Malaysian friends who travelled to Singapore for a short holiday. As the following day is ‘Chap Goh Meh’ (Yuanxiao Jie or Lantern Festival, also known as the Chinese version of Valentines’ Day), I invited them for dinner with my family. We went to a restaurant by the Singapore River.

This traditional Chinese festival (on the 15th of the first month of the Chinese New Year) marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations. The festival is not well celebrated in Singapore.

P1290658

During dinner, I learnt that 'Chap Goh Meh’  is celebrated with much joy and festivites by my Malaysian friends in their hometown. Their families would gather over a grand meal. After dinner, the elders would offer prayers to the God of Prosperity to bless their family with good fortune for the coming year.

The single ladies in the house would inscribe their names and telephone numbers on mandarin oranges and throw them into a nearby river. Several unmarried men waiting in boats would then row over to scoop up the oranges. Finding a partner sounds fun and interesting in their hometown. Chinese-style blind dating. :P

One of the single ladies wanted to try her luck in our Singapore River by throwing in a mandarin orange, but I stopped her as she might be penalised for 'polluting the river'. :P

For dessert, we each ate a bowl of tang yuan (glutinous rice ball 汤圆). Made with sticky glutinous rice flour and  filled with a sweet stuffing, its round shape symbolizes family unity, completeness and happiness.

正月里来闹元宵,

龙腾虎跃歌如潮,

月圆人圆事事圆,

蛇年好运幸福绕.

元宵节快乐!


13 comments:

  1. No throwing of mandarin oranges in Singapore during Chap Goh Meh? Awwww....

    Happy Chap Goh Meh to you and family, ECL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You participate in the throwing of mandarin oranges too!? That's awesome.

      Thanks Lina for your festive greeting!

      Delete
  2. I was not familiar with this holiday, but I love glutinous rice balls. Sounds like you had a festive time with friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The younger Singaporeans don't celebrate this festival too. Glad that I could spend time with my overseas friends.

      Delete
  3. Penang is buzzing with lots of activities during this time of year. everywhere is so crowded but i'm so glad the CNY has finally come to an end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, another Penang blogger shared her interesting CNY activities. looks more fun than in Singapore. She lighted firecrackers!

      Delete
  4. Happy Yuan Xiao Jie to you and your family! I had Sashimi Moriawase for the "grand dinner" haha :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ken. Yeah, saw the photo. Sashimi Moriawase looks good.

      Delete
  5. LOL! Looks like you can't throw Mandarin oranges in Singapore rivers! : D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Happy belated Chap Goh Meh !! I miss the Chinese New Year holidays!

    ReplyDelete

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