The car park area of Sutera Mall was abuzz with activities last night as the management of the mall together with Southern Chinese Musical Society co-organised a Chap Goh Mei party featuring, among others, a live band performance, wushu performance, 24 Drum performance, Chinese orchestra performance and a mass tossing of Yee Sang to invite more prosperity and cheer into the new year.
Chap Goh Mei, which in Hokkien means the 15th night of the Lunar New Year, is vastly celebrated by the Chinese community to mark the end of the festival. It is a tradition for those who are still single to throw mandarin oranges. However, I’m not sure whether it is to throw the fruit randomly and see whom it hits or to take aim at someone that catches your fancy. In the olden days when there was no Tinder, Clover, whatever, this was one of the ways to snag a significant other besides matchmaking.
I hear the practice is to throw the mandarin oranges into the sea. And the contemporary trend is to pen your wishes or your name on the fruit before the throw.
Chap Goh Mei is also the Chinese version of Valentine’s Day.
Johor Tourism, Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Liow Cai Tung attended the event together with representatives of Skudai Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Johor Skudai Tien Hiew Kiong, Persatuan Tabib Cina Tionghua Johor, Persatuan Hainan Johor Bahru, Persekutuan Tiong Hua Johor Bahru, among others.
On a more serious note, Liow in her speech reminded the local community to be mindful of general hygiene and the necessary precautionary measures now that Singapore has on Feb 7 increased the coronavirus outbreak level to Orange — just one step below Code Red.
“Many people in the state go across the Causeway to work. We have beefed up health screening at all entry points but the people must also take it upon themselves to take care of their own health as well as the health of others. It is each and everyone’s responsibility to curb the spread of the deadly virus,” Liow said.