6,000 celebrate chap goh mei at temple

6,000 celebrate chap goh mei at temple
The crowd queueing for food at Loyang Tua Pek Kong's chap goh mei celebrations.
PHOTO: The New Paper

It was his first chap goh mei celebration at Loyang Tua Pek Kong temple on Friday night.

Mr Chan Cher Hua, 38, and his wife, Madam Law Siew Lan, 37, were among the 6,000 devotees who turned up on the eve of chap goh mei for a special celebration at the temple.

Chap goh mei marks the 15th and final day of Chinese New Year.

ATMOSPHERE

Adding that the event was bigger than expected, Mr Chan said: "It is super festive, we're soaking in the atmosphere.

"The best food we've tried is the prawn mee. But we didn't come here for the food, we came to pray and ask for (good) health for the whole family."

Like Mr Chan, many were there for the first time.

First-time attendee Jenny Yip, 60, joined a neighbour who has attended the event for at least 10 years. They both live nearby. Ms Yip said she prays at the temple often but had no idea there were such big celebrations over the Chinese New Year period.

She added: "If I am free next year, I'll definitely come."

The temple has celebrated chap goh mei with free food and getai performances for more than 10 years, said chairman of the temple, Mr George Peh.

This year, devotees were treated to local favourites such as Hokkien mee, laksa and chicken rice.

There was also a getai performance, hosted by film-maker Jack Neo and comedienne Tay Yin Yin.

Director Ivan Ho and some of the cast of Take 2 also made an appearance to promote the movie.

Lead actor Ryan Lian said: "I used to come to Loyang (Tua Pek Kong) to pray and also for the Chinese New Year celebrations almost every year.

"I was overseas for the past three or four years during Chinese New Year. When I realised I was coming to Loyang this year, I was quite excited."

Mr Kester Chew also celebrated chap goh mei for the first time at the temple. The 22-year-old national serviceman was introduced to it by his girlfriend, Miss Lim Jia Hui, 21, who attends the festivities every year.

Mr Chew said: "It brings back that feeling when you were young and your parents took you to the temple.

"It is up to us youngsters to continue the tradition of celebrating Chinese New Year like this."

hmang@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on February 13, 2017.
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