Chap Goh Mei sees single ladies gather to toss mandarin oranges at the Esplanade in Penang


Friends from United Kingdom, Khadija Abasheikh, 26, (wearing scarf) and Lauren Kwan, 25, (in black dress) with others throwing their oranges into the sea during the state's annual Chap Goh Meh celebration celebration along the Esplanade in George Town, Penang.

GEORGE TOWN: Toss a mandarin orange into the sea on Chap Goh Meh and you might have a suitor by the next year.

At least that was what we were told and upholding that tradition is the state with its annual festivities on Saturday night (Feb 24) at the Esplanade which included mandarin orange-tossing.

Many were seen tossing oranges in the hopes of finding a suitor while others enjoyed the concept of writing their names on the oranges before tossing them into the sea.

Rhythmic gymnastics coach Koay Chia Li, 26, said while she did have a boyfriend she was going to toss an orange for fun.

"I usually am working and do not have time to participate in Chap Goh Meh.

"This year I managed to get off and will stay till the end," she said.

The state-level celebration saw a slew of festivities carried out at the Esplanade including a multicultural drum performance, a Chinese orchestra, a Dondang Sayang performance, a live band, fire juggling, an LED Dragon dance and a fireworks display.

"Chap Goh Meh" (which is Penang Hokkien for what might be best translated as "the ending on the 15th"), was a special way to end the festivities.

On Chap Goh Meh or Yuan Xiao, young people gather to toss mandarin oranges into lakes or rivers, hoping to find true love.

The last day of the Chinese New Year celebration, its Chinese equivalent, is the 15th day of the celebration.

Dating back over 2,000 years, the Chap Goh Meh tradition of throwing mandarin oranges into the sea in search of love has evolved, and children and men also throw oranges with their wishes scribbled on the fruits.

This year the Esplanade is expected to be packed with tourists and locals tossing mandarin oranges into the sea.

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