Monday, February 9, 2009

It is Chinese Valentine Day tonight

Once again, the Chinese will be celebrating Chap Goh Mei (which means 15th Night in Penang Hokkien) tonight. It is also called Yuan Xiao Jie which carries the meaning of ‘the end of 1st moon’ and it marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations. Chap Goh Mei is also known as Chinese Valentine Day.

In ancient China, maidens were allowed to come out on this night to view future husbands. If any one of them fancied a man, arrangement will be made to match the couple who were agreeable to each other. Hence unmarried girls always looked forward to this day to fulfill their aim of getting good husbands.

Mandarin oranges would be thrown into the river in the hope of getting good husbands. Mandarin oranges are called ‘kam’ in Hokkien and it rhymes with ‘ang’ for husband in Hokkien. As for men, they would be throwing drums hoping to get good wives as ‘drum’ is pronounced as ‘kor’ and it rhymes with ‘bor’ which in Hokkien means ‘wife’.

In Penang, the section in charge of tourism used to hold fun session for the public to throw mandarin oranges into the sea at Gurney Drive or the Esplanade. This event is usually participated by both locals and foreigners.

So, what are you waiting for? Girls, com

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