The finale to Chinese New Year celebration is Chap Goh Meh or in Hokkien means 15th night. It is a day when fair maidens will go out for a night with their chaperon on a full moon night. Of course, I must mention that the Chinese Lunar calendar uses the numbers based on the moon. The first day of the lunar month is when the new moon appears. Therefore, on the 15th of the month or chap goh meh, we get a full moon.
However, do you know that on 20th or rather 21st for us over here in Malaysia, there is going to be a total lunar eclipse?
In the late night hours of Feb. 20, 2008, a total lunar eclipse will dazzle the night sky. And this lunar eclipse may be worth staying up for, because it will be the last one until December 2010.
Residents of the Americas, Europe and Africa will have the best view of this eclipse.
Here in the United States, the entire eclipse will be visible for the majority of the country. However, residents on the West Coast will miss out on watching the early stages of the eclipse, as it begins before moonrise.
(Source : NASA)
Unfortunately, or fortunately, we won’t be able to witness the lunar eclipse. Fortunately is because some fengshui masters said eclipse is bad luck. Whatever…
But what is most interesting on Chap Goh Meh is the orange throwing event by the sea. Long time ago, as in 60 years ago maybe, the girls were not allowed out of their homes to mix with boys. However, on Chap Goh Meh, they were let out of the home and they would throw oranges and make wishes. In Hokkien, it goes something like “Tim kam, chua ho ang” or “Throw Mandarin orange, marry good husband.”
Of course, no one throw oranges for that purpose anymore, I think? There is always online dating websites. LOL.
And the sweetest thing on Chap Goh Meh is the pengat which Penangites cook. I have the
recipe for pengat also on Food Haven. As a Penangite, I must insist again that Pengat is NOT bubur cha cha. Once you tasted our authentic Penang Pengat, you will know what I mean.
I have bought all the stuffs meant to cook pengat. There are still many ingredients which I haven’t bought yet. So, watch this space for the pengat recipe.