Our little family went on a trip to Berastagi on the first day of Chinese New Year for 3 days. We have an old villa there, but it’s been a while since the last time we took our time to take a trip up there. So, without further ado, the first thing we did after reaching the villa is CLEANING. It’s not as bad as I thought, but still pretty bad. Apparently during our absence, a lot of insects from the nearby forest, ranging from large ants to unidentifiable-weird-looking insects, had been staking their claim and getting cosy there.
Mum My little sister found this large spider that was as big as my palm when cleaning the kitchen . I braved myself to take a quick snap with my phone’s camera before my father got rid of it for good.
After this spider, other insects didn’t look so scary anymore, so we shouldered on. I felt like I killed a lot of insects that day, which made me feel (very)guilty .
For some unknown reason, I’m feeling rather tired and feel like nesting at home, although it’s chap goh meh today. Anyway, tired or not, I’m going to write a little bit about Chap Goh Meh (Chinese: 十五暝; pinyin: Shíwǔmíng; literally “the fifteen night” in Fujian dialect), since I still feel rather guilty about not posting anything on the Lunar New Year.
What we call Chap Goh Meh around here is actually the celebrated day of Lantern Festival and the 15th day of Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year). Today marks the first full moon after the Spring Festival and of the New Year, also known as yuán xiāo jié (元宵节), meaning “first night of the full moon”. Usually, if it’s not cloudy, the full moon looks especially bright and beautiful today. I think it’s the cheerful atmosphere that makes people feel that things are more beautiful than usual.
Yuan Xiao Jie is also celebrated by individuals seeking for a love partner, a different version of Valentine’s Day. Traditionally, single women would write their contact number on mandarin oranges and throw it in a river or a lake while single men would collect them and eat the oranges. The taste is an indication of their possible love: sweet represents a good fate while sour represents a bad fate. It’s kinda ridiculous, but interesting.
This day marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities.
Chinese lanterns decoration at JW Marriott Hotel
During this festival lanterns are displayed, at times as lantern fairs, and children are carrying lanterns to temples. The festival is associated with guiding lost and wayward evil spirits home, while celebrating and cultivating positive relationship between people, families, nature and the higher beings as they are believed to be responsible for bringing and returning the light each year.