We recently realised the coincidence of this year's Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year. Did you know that this Chinese New Year festivity begins and ends with a Valentine's Day?
The first day of the Year of the Tiger was on February 14, which is the same day as Valentine's Day. Chinese New Year celebration goes on for fifteen days. That means, the fifteenth day - that's this coming Sunday, February 28 - is the final day of the festivity.
The fifteenth day is known as Chap Goh Mei, which literally translates as The Fifteenth Night from the Hokkien dialect, where family members will gather for another round of celebratory dinner. It is also known as Lantern Festival or Shang Yuan Festival in traditional Chinese culture. However, in Southeast Asia, Chap Goh Mei is also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day.
This is the night of courtship and match-making, where single women will throw Mandarin oranges or tangerines into the sea with hopes of finding true love. It is generally believed that if someone found and picked up the orange would mean that the one who threw it will find her match this year.
The only funny bit about this Chinese Valentine's Day is that it was not originated in China. A matter of fact, it came from the state of Penang in Malaysia, where this custom became a popular attraction to both the locals and visitors. It has become an annual event where many flock to the Esplanade to witness or throw the oranges.
Anyone planning to do this orange-throwing custom this year?
Or maybe just opt for the virtual version and throw the Mandarin oranges Koolgift to someone on Koolred? ;)