Beautiful lanterns, rivers flowing with mandarin oranges or tangerines and the possible chance of romance, Chap Goh Mei is a beloved celebration among the Chinese community.
It takes place on the 15th night of the lunar calendar (5th February 2023) during the first full moon and marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations. Chap Goh Mei is the Hokkien name of the festival, it is also known as Yuan Xiao Jie or the Lantern Festival. There are a few other activities which take place during Chap Goh Mei.
The Lighting Of Lanterns
The act of lighting lanterns is how Chap Goh Mei got its name as the lantern festival. According to the tale, the lit lanterns helped stop the wrath of the Jade Emperor who was angry at villagers for accidentally killing his favourite crane. The lighting of lanterns can be quite stunning to see, especially if you release sky lanterns against the backdrop of fireworks.
Eating Tangyuan (Glutinous Rice Ball)
As family often gather during Chap Goh Mei, it is a common practice to eat tangyuan, a sweet glutinous rice ball as it looks like the full moon which will be present on the day. This sweet treat have delicious fillings of red bean, sesame seed, peanuts and many others. A warm cup of BOH Pure Green Tea pairs perfectly with the sweetness of tangyuan and perfect to serve on a beautiful night.
Chinese Valentine’s Day
Chap Goh Mei also carries a lighter title of Chinese Valentine’s Day. On the day, many young single women who are looking for a partner will write their name and contact details on a mandarin orange or tangerine and release it into a river where potential suitors will be waiting to pick up the fruit. It is a light hearted activity and you sometimes find many suitors waiting for the mandarin oranges to flow in the river or take up strategic positions higher up the stream to call first dibs on potential suitors.
These are just some activities which happen on Chap Goh Mei and we wish all those celebrating a wonderful evening and those looking for suitors, our fingers are crossed you find ‘the one’!