I woke up to a bright full moon hanging low in the horizon and the smell of incense in the hall. It's the 15th day of the Chinese New Year which marks the end of the festivities.
When I was a child, that meant we had no more red packets to collect. The family would usually gather for a sumptuous dinner and glutinous rice balls cooked in a sweet soup to round off the celebrations.
It's a more realistic world for the kids today. Even before the Chinese New Year festivities were over, their first term school examinations have already started. Not many people observe the significance of the 15th day (元宵节) these days.
In traditional Chinese culture, it is also celebrated as the Lantern Festival and Chinese Valentine's Day. In ancient times, this was the only day that a single woman was allowed to dress up and go out in the hope of meeting her future husband. Sparks will fly at such gatherings and her suitor would later make a proposition to her family for her hand in marriage. During these outings, the girls would also toss oranges into the sea and make a prayer that they would find a suitable husband.
Well, as romantic as it sounds, I don't think anyone is going to toss oranges into our sea today and risk getting a $1,000 fine for littering!