Tuesday, 6 March 2007

My first experience

Last Sunday was the first time I was exposed to such an experience. It was totally unexpected but it was totally worth it. I've always heard about it and heard a lot of people talking about it enthusiastically but I've always been in the dark in that matter. I have to thank Boon for the initiative and actually getting me there early.

Upon arrival near Taman Jaya lake, I was shocked by the amount of traffic there was. Cars were parked on both sides of the road and volunteers were ushering cars through the heavy traffic.

I had to park at the nearby housing area and walk for about 5 minutes to the lake. The place was filled with people, young and old alike and plenty of food vendors were taking advantage of the festival/celebration to earn a hefty profit.

If you are wondering what I am talking about, this is the "Chap Goh Meh" festival which occurs every year and my mates were interested in picking up oranges with girl's names and numbers on them.
The occasion is marked by feasting and various festivities, including the consumption of Tangyuan. In traditional Chinese culture, it is also celebrated as the Lantern Festival or the Shang Yuan Festival. In Southeast Asia, however, it coincides with the Chinese Valentine's Day. It is also when young unmarried women gather to toss tangerines into the sea, in a hope that their future spouse will pick it up - a custom that originated in Penang, Malaysia. In the past, this is also the only day that unmarried ladies can be seen with their partners.
This was definitely an event to experience once in a lifetime for anyone, and it should definitely be more publicized and to attract more tourist to this special occasion. In case you didn't bring any oranges, there are stalls set up to sell oranges, flowers, small paper boats and even cold drinks.

Maneuvering through the crowd was tricky especially if you were carrying a camera and a camera stand at the same time. I reckon there were about almost a thousand people at the park celebrating the event.

Set amidst a wonderful backdrop of Amcorp mall wonderfully lighted up, I guess the main agenda on some people's mind is to find their other halves at this event or just enjoy the atmosphere or maybe you are there to have fun with your friends, laughing and finding interesting things to do. To others, love is definitely in the air with many couples clinging on to each other very closely.

Of course, one thing that me and Boon couldn't resist is doing something funny at the event. So lets go through it step by step.

Step 1: Bring some old oranges (expired ones)
Step 2: Write your friend's name and number on it with a permanent marker pen.

Step 3: Get into angle and try to warm up your hands a bit

Step 4: Throw it as far as you can into the lake and start laughing

Then of course to be even more prepared, you definitely need to bring a couple of fishing nets with a long pole in order to reach those oranges that are quite far in the lake. I guess this guy over here is no newbie in this sort of thing.

Then if you did forget your huge fishing net, you could always make use of some local resources there like this guy who took a branch from the ground.

Or maybe you could try using a basket to pull in those oranges. But believe me, it didn't work too well for that dude because I saw him try for about 15 minutes and failed every time. Hehehe

But nothing beats a good old fishing net I would think. Just throw it into the lake and start pulling in oranges. I would really be amazed if someone actually came in a wet suit or someone might rent a kayak and start rowing through the lake looking for oranges.

Amidst the hustling and bustling of the many people at the event, we started getting tired thanks to the high humidity and heat from so many people that I decided to head to the nearby mamak to chill out.

Of course, I wouldn't just leave without trying to take a nice picture of the scenery over there.

Man I definitely need to improve on my photography skills especially when shooting at low light conditions such as this.