Confusing Fifteenth Night

Thuan Hee SMSed me, wishing me a happy Chap Goh Meh yesterday. Chap Goh Meh is here already? So fast? Well, it ought to be. The Hokkiens just celebrated Chinese New Year with a bang last Sunday, offering sacrifices to thee Kong, the Jade Emperor of Heaven, sharp at midnight, burning paper money and lighting the sky up with fireworks and creating such a din with firecrackers. Talking about Chap Goh Meh, it could rather be confusing. Chap Goh Meh is Fifteenth Night in Hokkien and  it marks the fifteenth day of Chinese New Year when logically, it could be any fifteenth night of each month of the lunar calendar. According to Wikipedia, Chap Goh Meh is known as Lantern Festival or Yuanxiao Festival in China. In Hong Kong, it is the Yuen Siu Festival , Tết Thượng Nguyên or Tết Nguyên Tiêu in Vietnam ; and Koshōgatsu in Japan. It is only Chap Goh Meh in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia but in all these places where Chinese New Year is celebrated, the night officially ends the celebrations. In Penang where Thuan Hee lives, there is supposed to be a 10 km run during Chap Goh Meh. Since one likely origin of the festival is said to be  celebrating and cultivating positive relationships between people, families, nature and the higher beings, the run ought to augur well with the Chinese there or any sane people for that matter. After all, running is a pretty healthy activity and brings people of all levels together. I suppose too it is just as innocent as the sensational Psy's Oppan Gangnam style stint in Penang which brought much cheers to the public on the second day of Chinese new Year. Perhaps, you'd wonder what has a Korean singer got to do with Chinese New Year.

Celebrating Chinese New Year...


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