Friday, February 22, 2008

Throwing Mandarin Oranges during Chap Go Mei @ Taman Jaya

Happy one-day-late Chap Go Mei everyone!

Chap Go Mei literally means the 15th night of Chinese New Year, which is also known as Chinese’s Valentines in South East Asia.

tang long
Also known as lantern festival

It’s the day (or night) where young single women gather to throw mandarin oranges (or tangerines) into the sea/rive/lake in hope for their future husbands to pick up.

Nowadays, we write names and phone numbers / url address onto the oranges instead of just names.

I have always been quite negligent of traditional Chinese festivals, but as my friend reminded me it was Chap Go Mei, I decided to head out to Taman Jaya last night after dinner to throw some of my own oranges.

mini mandarin oranges
Bought mini ones from local supermarket

At first I thought there were only a few people at the lake, little did I know, there was not only a crowd,

chap go mei at the lake

They brought in DJs and boom boxes!

chap go mei DJs
What happened to good old Chap Go Mei?

All the better, cause I have my oranges ready.

name on oranges x 4
Name? Check! Contact no? Check! Check!
(I only wrote my blog address on ONE orange)

I know it’s not safe and very unwise to write your real contact details on an orange where it would be picked up by just anyone, it could be a stalker/pervert/horny stalker.

But hey, it’s Chap Go Mei. It’s only once a year and I’m sure I can afford a little risk every now and then. Why spoilt the festive mood anyway? :D

So I made 5.

5 mini oranges

On the other side, if oranges are not your thing and you’re not single, you can always buy candle boats and let them drift drown the river (or around the lake) to see how far your love boat can go.

chap go mei - candle on a boat

The Thais (and Chinese) believe that the farther the boat floats without the candle light going out, the longer your love with your partner will last.

There was already a scene at the lake with long poles sticking out at every corner of the lake. I wedged my way through and found a group of enthusiastic males fishing for floating oranges with names and contact numbers on it.

fishing for oranges

When I say enthusiastic, I mean they don’t settle for one or two oranges. These people fish for bags.

chap go mei - bag of oranges
“let me see, there should be 35 contacts and counting”

As they say, don’t only opt for one when you can have them all.

netting for oranges
“two at one go~!”

There was this bunch of youngsters (young teens?) standing next to me as I observed on ushering a boy to get to know me.

Apparently he thought I was too old for him.

little kid

I laughed because those were the exact same thing I would say to a guy in his twenties when I was his age.

I passed him my blog address and promised that I will blog about him.

10 minutes after I threw the oranges in, I got a call from an anonymous.

Guess what?

Someone got my orange!! o.O OMGWTFKNN

I couldn’t believe it but this thing actually works! And he actually got the one with written on it!

Dear Nicolekiss readers, meet my Chap Go Mei date.

my chap go mei date

Dong Ling.

A very friendly and sweet Chinese speaking guy. When I asked him how many oranges he managed to gather, he said two but one with a smudged number.

It was a fun night, the music was loud and the DJs made it happening. I will never see Chap Go Mei the same way again. It’s a good way to meet more friends too.

I’ll definitely come back next year.

me and my chap go mei date

However, remember to bring your own mandarins. Oranges sold here aren’t cheap.

chap go mei stall
Note: read the drawn image literally

No, it does not mean 10 for RM2!


  1. Next thing we will see is Dong Ling putting up ads all over

    "Nicolekiss, will you marry me?"

    hoh hoh hoh... -_-

  2. I never knew it works! That was kinda fun ;)

  3. Wah, your Chap Goh Mei was so nice... :)

    Mine's disastrous...(T_T)

  4. wow, i never knew the tradition was still carried out till today... then again, i haven't celebrated cny in msia for 8 years now

  5. Well Chap Goh May is still retaining its tradisional roots in away. Where prospective men go to lakes/river/anything which where is there a huge body of water. Lets hope people dont throw them in the monsoon drains next. Heard an interesting episode last night. Someone actually jump into the taman jaya lake to collect the oranges... O_o

  6. wah so high efficiency and done the article. Haha interesting nite..Btw, if there is really any gaylou call me ...I will kill u~

  7. GODDESTROYER22/2/08 11:56 AM

    nicole u can juz throw tat orange wit ur hp number to my house ..would it be easier

  8. Wahh...Fun Chap Goh Meh...

  9. It seems fun :D I'll try next year :P

  10. picksickrick22/2/08 1:08 PM

    wah....can i have ur number den :)
    i'm a english speaking n uni educated :)

  11. did you happen to see a hamsap-looking food blogger in a fakeplan tupperware boat in the lake picking up the oranges? ahahaha

  12. thomas: o.O

    iamthewitch: neither did i~! :D

    jacky chin: what happened to yours?

    andrew: come back!

    anon: haha... i think that guy was

    freakuency: kakaka, today i go back throw more with ur number

    goddestoyer: .... er..... *sweat*

    chee: yup

    veronicle: yay go go

    picksickrick: haha.... speechless

    eyeris: i was hoping i saw one, lol

  13. wow i never knew people actually pick up the oranges..Im gonna go try it next time! wahahahaha...

  14. lol keep us update if the 4 other mandarines got picked up too

  15. very interesting topic... good work

  16. Cookie Monster22/2/08 3:12 PM

    OMG why would dive into the lake for the oranges.
    Was he doing a review on the oranges to see whether they tasted better than the normal ones which havent touched the lake?
    Or was he trying to collect as many oranges as possible so he could have a harem by the end of the night... O_O

  17. windwalker22/2/08 4:12 PM

    Oh man, how I wish I was the one picking your orange!!!hahahaha...

  18. wao.. ur date so handsome ;)

  19. Hi there, just wanted to comment that this is a very excellent blog and I really like the pictures that you present :)

    Keep up the good work!

  20. Wow, so fast! Very effective! lol

  21. That's so cool.. can throw pomelo? ahha

  22. I've been "fishing" for the mandarin oranges for a few years now. Since me and my friend learnt how to drive, we go to Taman Jaya every year.

    I didn't go this year though, I had dinner with my girlfriend's family then we went to Tien Hoe Temple.

  23. i've always wanted to try this! but since none of my frens are interested and i dont have a car... :(

    btw, do u happen to drive a myvi. and were u near kdu in the evening? im not sure, but i thought i saw u!

  24. Eee.. i wanna try that next time. *LOL*

  25. Falcon: yea it's fun!

    lasilasi: i doubt so, i threw them rather far, lol

    anon: thanks!

    cookie monster: haha... i think it's his 2006 entry.

    windwalker: haha... u wanna swim in the lake? :p

    der: of course he is :)

    daniel: thank you~!!

    julian: it was!!

    wp: who is wp?

    stella: haha... expensive la

    justin: u don't need to, u're attached d, lol

    amberite: erm.. i think i was, for a brief moment.

  26. aish, i only ehard abt it the other night and u blogged abt it the next day. how cool! i ddin't know this stuff happens on cgm.. ee. what fun! so how's dong ling??

  27. I just shared this culture with my Canadian friend and she was amazed at it. I also gave her your blog link to read about your experience.

  28. i always thought dat cgm only happens massively in Penang...I heard the next day dbkl hv to come n use boat to clear of the amt of oranges in the i know something i dont know again...keep it up nicole...yr blog is starting to be more happening than kenny's (although he still has many many people going there)


  29. haha, sounds fun! didnt u guys feel all awkward n stuff?

  30. i had feeling that this Dong Ling guy was probably targeting your oranges. He was like "i must get Nicole's even if have to swim to get one". interesting. i wonder what if you get someone's husband to be your date that night?

  31. nicole, i'll come back to msia next cny if i'm guranteed an orange with ur number =)

  32. Hey Nicole,

    Chap go mei.... your Mandarin was thrown my way, albeit electronically, when I did a google search for Chap go mei and I clicked on your link :D Lucky I am single too to catch your Mandarin.

    I am from Melbourne Australia and actually ironically and surprising spend a lot of time in Malaysia.

    Anway, good luck.... This event sounds like lots of fun. I think I should be near a lake somewhere in Malaysia next year :D hehe


    (tony_penna @ hotmail . com)

  33. Next time ...welcome to Langkawi