Monday, February 9, 2009

.: Chap Goh Meh :.

The 15th night of the Lunar New Year.

The cool and peaceful surroundings in the old street of Melaka, Malaysia.

Source: Malaysia Postcards #41565

12.54am and I'm greeted with the familiar clashing of fireworks. *it can never beat the ones fired for the Jade Emperor's birthday* Today marks the end of the new year. To be frank, there are a couple of Chinese festivities that are celebrated concurrently. I'll elaborate a little of each, leaving out on the origins as there are quite a number of versions that I know of. After all, I'm an email away in case you require further information. :)

Chap Goh Meh:: In the traditional Hokkien dialect, it means the 15th night of the new year. The Hokkien community commemorate this day with prayers and offerings as well as the Chingay procession; a parade encompassing acrobatic acts, stilt walkers, lion and dragon dances, etc. while swaying to the beats from the gongs, drums and cymbals. As a child, I used to see the ones held back home.

The Lantern Festival; in simplified Mandarin 元宵节 [Pin Yin: Yuan Xiao Festival] or 上元节 [Shang Yuan Festival] :: On this auspicious occasion, houses are brightly lit with lanterns in which prayers are offered to the ancestors. There is another Chinese festival celebrated in Malaysia that is also known as the Lantern Festival, which is actually the Mid-Autumn Festival. That post shall be for another day. *it'll have to wait*

The Chinese Valentine’s Day:: Not to be mistaken with the other Chinese Valentine's Day, Qi Xi 七夕. *is anyone still with me?* Courtesy of my Chinese friends, I got to know about this festival last year. As I had a blast interrogating them, I suppose I can share the fascination people have on it. *me included*

Find a sea, drop an orange with your name and contact number written on it into the sea and pray to the heavenly skies that the person that picks it up will turn out to be your significant other, hence it is believed that the wishes made on this night are most likely to be granted.

Note:: Whilst ladies do the tossing, the potential suitors pick it up. *trust me, I'm not joking on this. that's really how it works!*

Customarily, they’ll celebrate it by going to the sea. In some places, it is substituted with the pool, river, etc. Fees are occasionally imposed on the visitors to throw or pick oranges. My colleague was sweet enough to ask me to come along claiming that it’s fun plus I'll have a generous helping of amusing moments. *now how often can you see a bunch of guys paddling to the sea, squabbling to pick a handful of bobbing oranges?* In any given day, I would have jumped in on the invite, no questions asked. *not exactly, I'll need to drag a few people with me*I would have still gone to it on my own if it weren't for the fact that I have something on. Guess I'll interrogate him the next day on how many oranges he managed to get. :P

On a side note, I’ve been driving friends mad inquiring whether they’ll be tossing or picking oranges, until one of them asked will I be tossing any of my own. My response was I prefer to toss it into the gastric enzymes deep within my abdomen. Naturally, it’ll have a good digestion.

To all Chinese:: Ermm .... Happy Valentine's Day? LoL. Let's have a brilliant time with family and friends. ^

To my neighbors:: Welcome back! Thank you so much for the oranges and keropok lekor! May there be many more cheers in our lives! ^^

And the fireworks display are finally over. :)
1.35am Malaysian Time


Hajar Zamzam Ismail said...

Masha Allah! the holidays are still going! What fun.

Aisyah Mazelan said...

Ah! What a relief! After a few days, they finally stopped burning fireworks!

24ing said...

beautiful! 元宵节。

Hajar Alwi said...

Hajar:: No longer. The next set of holidays will be somewhere in May. :(

Miss Ash:: Somehow I miss the fireworks... had gotten used to hearing it every other night...

24ing:: I'm certain it's much better over there. :)