How to celebrate Valentine's Day/Chinese Lantern Festival + tangyuan recipes! | Speaking of China

11 Responses

  1. ordinary malaysian
    ordinary malaysian February 14, 2014 at 7:58 am | | Reply

    Lantern Festival in China is known as ‘Chap Goh Meh’ here in Malaysia which, in Hokkien, literally means the 15th day of the new lunar year and is regarded as the last day of CNY. We also regard it as the Chinese Valentine’s Day!

    We are aware though, that our counterparts in Mainland China regard the 7th day of the 7th lunar month as the Chinese Valentine’s Day. So there could be a little confusion here.

    Further, Lantern Festival to Chinese Malaysians falls on Moon Cake Festival Day!

    In Penang, Chap Goh Meh is often celebrated in a big way. Damsels would throw kam or Mandarin oranges into the sea in the belief that it will help them find their soul-mates. We don’t eat tangyuan on this day though. The tangyuan featured in the recipes look tempting!

  2. lenore look
    lenore look February 14, 2014 at 11:18 am | | Reply

    Mmmm! I haven’t had these since I was little. My mom made grape-sized ones and boiled them in a syrup of brown sugar and ginger. Probably the peasant version, but delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipes and best wishes to you too on this special double holiday!

  3. chinaelevatorstories
    chinaelevatorstories February 14, 2014 at 11:57 am | | Reply

    We don’t usually celebrate Valentine’s day in Austria (when I told the Chinese I taught in Austria they were quite disappointed that we don’t). My husband told me that we have to sleep somewhere else than at home tonight – I was quite confused at first and thought this is connected to Valentine’s day, but actually it’s connected to 元宵节 and a custom that on this day in the first year of your marriage you’re not supposed to sleep at home. Sleeping at a friend’s place or hotel is okay, but I guess with me being jet lagged and pregnant and hotels being overpriced since it’s Valentine’s day, we’ll skip this custom in favor of a good night’s sleep.

    1. Cheryl
      Cheryl February 14, 2014 at 4:08 pm | | Reply

      That’s so cool! My husband didn’t say anything about this tradition, I would’ve loved to stay at a hotel tonight! (One with a Jacuzzi and a king size bed with more pillows than can be counted!)

  4. chinaelevatorstories
    chinaelevatorstories February 14, 2014 at 11:59 am | | Reply

    Btw., the recipees sound yummie! I’d love to try the rose-flavoured tangyuan – love both strawberries and the taste of edible roses.

  5. Sveta
    Sveta February 15, 2014 at 8:46 am | | Reply

    For those that celebrate it, happy v-day as well as Chinese Lantern Festival day. Interesting customs as well as ideas. Had no idea.

  6. Sveta
    Sveta February 15, 2014 at 8:46 am | | Reply

    Forgot to mention that for those that don’t celebrate it, where I live, only six more hours left and the day is over, thank goodness.

  7. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary
    Constance - Foreign Sanctuary February 15, 2014 at 10:22 am | | Reply

    I am looking forward to attending the Taiwan Lantern Festival – it gets bigger and better every year! Love the recipes, by the way, I might have to try one of them. Hope you had an amazing Valentine’s Day!!

  8. Nicki Chen
    Nicki Chen February 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm | | Reply

    I love the historic connection of the Lantern Festival to Valentine’s Day. Chocolates, red roses, and meeting a romantic partner under the lanterns. Very romantic!

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