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Friday February 18, 2011

Chap Goh Meh singles party

GEORGE TOWN: Thousands took part in joyous Chap Goh Meh celebrations in several states, with the orange-throwing tradition being the highlight of the night.

The event which marked the end of the 15-day Chinese New Year celebration, saw maidens, including foreign tourists, throwing oranges into the sea with the hope of getting good life partners.

At the Esplanade here, single women wrote their names and telephone numbers on the oranges, while some even scribbled their Facebook addresses on the fruits.

Citrus notes: Women, and one man, writing messages on oranges before throwing them into the sea at the Esplanade in Penang during Chap Goh Meh celebrations last night.

Julie Olson, 22, from the United States who threw two oranges, said it was a fun way to find a suitor.

“I don’t have a boyfriend, so why not give it a try? I’ll never know who may call or chat with me on Facebook,” she added.

Two of her friends Stephanie Loo, 23, and Kathy Houng, 22, from the United States, threw three oranges each with witty messages, date of birth and heart symbols drawn on them.

Houng said she put down her passport number on the oranges “to be different from the others.”

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who attended the event, threw tangerine oranges into two waste paper baskets that were placed on a buoy.

Pool party: Perak exco Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon (second from left) with Kuan Yin Tong temple committee members pouring oranges with personal particulars of well-wishers into a pool during Chap Goh Meh celebrations in Ipoh yester

The event culminated with a 10-minute fireworks display sponsored by the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce at about 10.30pm.

Some 1,500 oranges were thrown into the sea during a similar celebration at Straits Quay in Tanjung Tokong.

Even children and men threw oranges, wishing for good fortune, health and success.

In Ipoh, thousands thronged the Kuan Yin Tong temple to pray for a good year.

Many youths also took to fastening padlocks and hurling oranges onto the branches of a “wishing tree” in the hope of finding true love.

Sales promoter Candy Tan, 25, said she hoped to find a boyfriend this year.

“All my friends have managed to find partners, so I think it’s about time I have one too,” she added.

Temple secretary Ho You Meng said 500 people took part in this year’s event.

In Shah Alam, hundreds who converged at i-City waited until midnight to witness a display of fireworks, while single men and women threw oranges into a man-made river nearby.

Tan Siew Lin, 25, said it was exciting for her to participate in the festival although she didn’t believe that she would find her Mr Right by throwing oranges.