For those who speaks Hokkien, you would know that Chap Goh Meh literally means the fifteenth in the Chinese Lunar New Year. It marks the first full moon of the Lunar New Year and the Chinese community celebrates this happy auspicious occasion with various activities. The crowd was gathering near the stage and it was impossible to move closer to the centre ring. We had to stand about 30 metres away from the stage to get a better view of the ongoing Chingay performance. This time around, 2 large projector screens for live coverage were provided for spectators standing in the “padang”.
The main event was the lion dance on stilts performed by Kun Seng Keng Lion and Dragon Association from Muar, Johor, whom has won 29 World Championship. Their performance was superb. The Bull Dance was not that exciting and kind of weird to me. The throwing of tangerines into the sea is an important part of Penang’s Chap Goh Meh cultural heritage.
Traditionally, unmarried women Nyonya would toss tangerine into the sea. While doing so, hopeful unmarried men, Baba, would try their luck at catching these tangerines in order to meet their future spouse.
Nowadays, it is just for fun and charity. There to promote the occassion were four lovely Miss Pesta 2008 finalist and several models. The grand finale was not that grand, the fireworks did not last for 12 minutes as advertised, but a mere 3.5 minutes (maybe less). Well, I guess it was ok, you know what they say about spending on fireworks “sio chuah ji” it is like burning money. With the current economic situation, such savings are much appreciated.