Saturday February 23, 2013
All set for Chap Goh Meh
By WONG PEK MEI and ROYCE TAN
KUALA LUMPUR: Chinese temples are busy putting the final touches in preparation for the prayers on Chap Goh Meh, while singles look forward to participating in the traditional tossing of oranges into the sea.
Sin Sze Si Ya Temple workers are preparing more than 900 “fortune bowls” to be used for the prayers tomorrow the 15th and final day of the Chinese New Year celebration.
Its temple keeper, who only wanted to be known as Lee, said the bowls would be distributed to devotees.
“A family of five would share a bowl which will include tea leaves, joss sticks and good luck papers,” he said.
Kuan Ti Temple sifu Lam Ah Ping, 59, said there would be a line of people along Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, where the temple is located, from 5am to 2pm on Chap Goh Meh.
“After getting their bowls, they will go around the temple for 10 rounds with a Taoist master who will chant good blessings for them. They will then burn the bowls bearing their names,” he said.
Devotee James Choo, 50, said he would usually attend the event to pray for a good year.
Lim Kim Quam, 49, said she had been attending such prayers for more than 20 years.
In George Town, the tradition of tossing mandarin oranges into the sea is still very much alive.
KDU College Penang students Ginger Chin Zhi Wei and Racheal Su Pui Yee, both 20 and attached, said they would be attending the state government's Chap Goh Meh celebration at the Esplanade tomorrow simply to join in the fun.
“Tossing oranges on Chap Goh Meh has long been a Chinese tradition and we thought it will be nice to soak in the atmosphere,” Chin said.
Su said that it would be their first time doing it.
“The belief is that by tossing oranges into the sea, young maidens will find themselves a good husband. But in modern times, finding a good partner depends on more than that. It has to be someone who comes along your path and usually, it will be someone you hang out with,” she added.
They will be joined by college mates Cherry Oon and Lee Ting, both also 20, in scribbling messages and wishes on mandarin oranges and having a good time at the event.