Sunday, February 16, 2014
Chap Goh Mei + V Day celebration...
So, while most people probably celebrated Hearts Day with the usual romantic dinner or mushy surprise, I prepared a different kind of "celebration" for me and PG Boy. Hehe!
Coincidentally, 14 Feb this year is also the Chap Goh Mei. Hokkien for "15th night," Chap Goh Mei signals the last day of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
I thought why not celebrate two events with one activity. Without him knowing it, I registered the two of us for a heritage walk around Chinatown to celebrate Chap Goh Mei.
On one hand, it'll be a unique date, at least that's how I see it. On the other hand, it is also one way of closing the CNY celebrations, which PG Boy observes.
Traditionally, Chap Goh Mei is celebrated by carrying lanterns on the street.
I was really quite excited by this. PG Boy initially didn't want to carry a lantern. I somehow managed to convince (or coerce?) him to carry one and that there's no need to be paiseh about it.
For about an hour or so, together with close to 20 other people, our group walked around different parts of Chinatown carrying our lanterns.
Every so often, the guide would stop in front of a building or temple or some random spot in the street to explain the historical significance of the area.
I guess my favourite portion was walking along Telok Ayer St. and Phillip St. to visit three temples - Thian Hock Keng Temple, Fuk Tak Chi Temple and Yueh Hai Ching Temple.
The last temple was quite busy since a lot of people were praying and making offerings.
It was interesting to know that Telok Ayer is considered to be one of the many "Streets of Harmony" in the island with the presence of Thian Hock Keng Temple, Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church, Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre and the Al-Abrar Mosque along the same row. Streets whereby significant places of worship from each of the major religions in the city are found are called "streets of harmony."
Singapore being a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-faith community, it is no surprise to find a number of streets of harmony in different parts of the island.
After the heritage walk, PG Boy and I just proceeded to Chinatown Point for coffee and dessert before heading back.
It was quite a nice activity for a Friday night.