All for love: Chap Goh Meh, orange-tossing and right timing


  • Living
  • Tuesday, 19 Feb 2019

Don't Miss Our “In The Mood For Love” Contest! Details Below 

Make merry on the 15th, and final, night of the Chinese New Year with fireworks and lanterns burning bright. But as the festive celebration draws to a close, there is one last thing left for some people to do: to write their name and phone number on a mandarin orange and toss it into a body of water, in the hopes that a prospective suitor will pick it up and get in touch.

Chap Goh Meh is also regarded as Chinese Valentine’s Day, where courtship and the possibility of romance hangs in the air.

This is one day where modern, newfangled dating options like Tinder end up taking a back seat, if only for a while, because stories from our grandparents’ time – whether fantasy, fact or a combination of both – are so much more appealing to the romantic and sentimental among us.

Take Chap Goh Meh, for instance. Word has it that in the olden days, young maidens would stroll the streets in their finest – accompanied by a chaperone, of course. Young men would gather around in the hopes of catching a glimpse of a potential match, and perhaps seize an opportunity to get to know the fetching young lady a bit better.

Legend has it that on this day, a matchmaker from the moon would tie red strings of destiny on their legs, binding them together for life. A match made in heaven is one that will carry you through your days here on earth.

The practice of tossing mandarin oranges into the sea, river or lake, is a popular activity on Chap Goh Meh especially in Penang and around the Klang Valley. It is a fun and colourful affair, and over the years, has becomes something that many people “do with (their) friends”.

And why not?

This is when, for one night only, hundreds or thousands of mandarin oranges bob in the water, carried by the waves and a fervent hope that somewhere out there, the gods of fate will move heaven and earth to will the “right” person to chance upon what you let free into the world.

Maybe you want to wish upon a star.

Or maybe you are just there to soak up the festivities with your friends. And that’s perfectly fine too.


“In The Mood For Love” Contest 

StarLifestyle and Star2.com are bringing you love stories every day from Valentine’s Day to Chap Goh Meh. Read our stories and watch our videos, then go to our Facebook page (facebook.com/starlifestyle) to join our special “In The Mood For Love” contest, where you could win a pair of Longines HydroConquest watches worth RM10,000 for you and your loved one.

How To Win At Love!

1. Collect one question daily (Feb 14-19) from our FB page. You’ll find clues in the stories and videos. You must answer all six (6) questions.

2. Complete this slogan: Love is ..... (in not more than 50 words).

3. Email all six answers and slogan to star2@thestar.com.my by Feb 20 Wednesday. Include your full name, MyKad number and contact number, and don’t forget to add “In The Mood For Love Contest” in the subject field.

Terms & Conditions

1. The contest is open to all residents in Malaysia except for employees of the Star Media Group Berhad and members of their immediate families.

2. The prize cannot be exchanged for cash.

3. By participating in this contest, participants are deemed to have agreed to all rules and regulations of this contest. The Star reserves the right to alter/change/add/cancel any terms & conditions of contest without prior notice.

4. Judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entertained.


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