15th Night Chinese Valentine’s Day


BalikBayani République | Tony Alabastro

Geomancers see blooming Ox Year businesses that work with metal – specially cars – or in consulting section. Hard work brings in money. Husband and wife team works well for business. Quiet and calm brings goodness.

Hokkien for 15th Night, Chap Goh Mei, CNY’s final day on February 26, 2021, is a Chinese Valentine’s Day celebration in Brunei, Singapore and Malaysia.
Ancient China maidens forbidden to go out are allowed to visit temples, chaperoned and best dressed, when bachelors and matchmakers see them on Chap Goh Mei.

Since late 19th century on Penang island, Malaysian maidens threw tangerines or oranges into the sea to find husbands on 15th Night. Mandarin words for orange bear resemblance for good luck; tangerine looks golden.

To find love and husbands, today’s bachelorettes throw into lake, river or lake mandarin orange with name and contact details, telephone numbers, email addresses, Facebook profiles written on fruit’s skin.

Enterprising vendors sometimes scoop up floating gold on water and sell data to bachelors.

Glowing lanterns are hung and paraded on Chap Goh Mei or Lantern Night in memory of the Jade Emperor’s foiled attempt to firestorm a village on 15th Lunar Day over the killing of his pet crane.

Hanging red lanterns, lighting bonfires and exploding firecrackers suggest a village on fire that stopped heavenly wrath.

Symbolizing love and hope, Lantern Festival marks Lunar New Year’s end, when lunisolar calendar’s first full moon shines on Chap Goh Mei.

After 2020’s three billion trips, largest human migration on planet, according to CNN, COVID-19 restrictions limit travel. Lunar or Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations go virtual or socially distanced when Open Houses are discouraged.

Brunei’s Chinese-owned shops take a two-week commercial break for the 15-day CNY of the Metal Ox that midnight fireworks and muted explosions greet on February 12, 2021.

Homes are swept to drive out any misfortune, bad luck or any bad influences before Lunar holiday.

Reunion family dinner on New Year’s eve serves sweet rice balls to sym-bolize togetherness.

“On the first day of the year, you must eat well because (then) the rest of the year you”ll eat well,” Chinese believe.

Longevity noodles symbolize long life: Bad luck to cut noodles before or while eating them.

Young, unmarried family members get lucky money packets Ang Pao, (Lai See in Cantonese, Hong Bao in Mandarin). It originates from the time when people swap coins to ward off unlucky spirits.

On New Year’s Day, washing, cutting hair is literally washing good luck down the drain. Chinese language character for “hair” is same in first character word meaning “prosper”.

In Kuala Belait, Brunei’s oil town, Ren Yi, namesake of seventh CNY Day, or Everybody’s or Common Man’s Birthday, is also a Filipino restaurant serving tapsilog, bulalo and more Pinoy delicacies.

Health protocols empty Binondo streets of dragon dancers. Vendors hawk lucky charms and tikoy, sweet, sticky rice cake. A two-man lion dance skips tinikling steps in the mall and gets posted on Facebook.

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