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Monday March 1, 2010

Thousands throw oranges to mark Chap Goh Meh

GEORGE TOWN: More than 50,000 people made a beeline for the Esplanade here, where the Chap Goh Mei celebration was held last night to mark the end of the Chinese New Year festivities.

Thousands of single ladies embraced the age-old tradition of throwing mandarin oranges into the sea with the hope of finding their true love, and hurled the fruits with gusto. Some men were also spotted doing the same.

Among those who turned up were avid partygoer Elaine Tan and her best friend Lim Jia Yee, both 21.

Tan, who was spotted buying oranges to throw into the sea, said this was their first time attending such an event.

“Since the proceeds from the sale of the oranges will go to charitable organisations, we decided to give it a try. Who knows, maybe we will find true love,” she said.

Crowds were also feted with a dondang sayang show and a gamelan performance, with RedFM’s Love Classifieds DJ Nisha joining in the bash.

In Malacca, more than 5,000 revellers gathered along Jalan Kubu next to the famed Jonker Walk to witness the closing of the Chinese New Year’s festivities, which was jointly organised by the state Chinese New Year Carnival Committee and its wushu and lion dance associations.

They joined some 2,000 lion and dragon dance troupes, and children donning masks for the event, which had become a popular tourist attraction.

The riverboat cruise at Taman Rempah cashed in on the celebration by having maidens aboard their craft casting oranges into the river “for their suitors”.

More than 300 people joined in the Chap Goh Meh celebration at Danga City Mall in Johor Baru, which showcased lion dances, magic shows and even a special performance by the Chinese Chamber of Music.

Also present were 41 children from two orphanages, who were given goodie bags.

In Kuching, some 10,000 people – some coming in as early as 7.30am – packed into the hall hosting the inaugural Kuching City South Council’s Chinese New Year open house, which was launched by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam.

Those who turned up feasted on various local dishes served up by 83 stalls.

In Petaling Jaya, some 8,000 people turned up to throw oranges into the lake in Taman Jaya.

Divorcee Evone Chui, 37, said this was her first time at such an event, which also saw cultural performances from various dance groups.

“My boss encouraged me to come and try my luck. She came and threw an orange here last year, and this year she is getting married to her boyfriend.

“So, I hope all will go well for me this year,” she said.

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