Chap Goh Meh! "A Festivals Of Romance"
On the 15th day of Chinese Lunar year, Chinese community in Penang celebrated
Chap Goh Meh. According to legend, this fascinating festival tells a story of a lonely
young man who during his first outing saw one of the most beautiful women his sights ever laid on. He was immediately enraptures by her stunning looks.
Despite the excitement and exhilaration pounding in his heart, the young man quickly jotted down the number of her car. On the very next day, he made a search and enquiries on which this car belongs to. When he got to know the address, he quickly asks his mother to send a matchmaker to his dream girl's home to arrange the marriage. In such haste and without investigation, the young man did not realize that the beautiful girl he had seen that day was actually not the daughter of the house but a visiting niece. And so on his wedding day, the poor groom found that instead of looking at the radiant smiling girl he had expected, he was to be married to her fat and rather plain cousin. The story does have a rather happy ending though, as his wife was a wealthy woman!
Chap Goh Meh in Mandarin was called Yuan Xiao, but in the traditional Hokkien dialect of Penang, Chap Goh Meh means the 15th night of Chinese New Year. It is celebrated with prayers and offerings to mark the end of the Chinese New Year.