The 15th day of the Lunar New Year is when the first ?full moon of the year (based on the lunisolar Chinese calendar) appears. It marks the final day of the Lunar New Year celebrations. This day is also the last day where all the Chinese New Year customs like the giving of ?red packets, yee sang tossing, and lion dances are observed.
This day comes under many names such as the ?Lantern Festival (not to be confused with Mid-Autumn festival), Chap Goh Mei, Shangyuan Festival and Yuanxiao Jie. Chap Goh Mei is a Hokkien term that means “the 15th night” and it is unique only to regions around Malaysia and Singapore. In these countries, the significance is more towards finding ?love, where ?ladies will throw ?mandarin oranges with contact details into a river. These oranges will then be picked up by the single ?lads (kinda like a traditional version of tinder?).
On the other hand, in places like China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, the 15th day of the Lunar New Year is more commonly known as Yuanxiao Jie, the Yuanxiao Festival or simply the Lantern Festival. On this day, people from the latter regions (especially China) display ?lanterns of various colours and play guessing lantern riddles.
There are many legends about the origin of this festival, and one of them traces back to the reign of Emperor Ming of the Han dynasty. It was a period when Buddhism was growing in the region. The emperor, a Buddhism devotee, noticed that Buddhist monks would light ?lanterns in temples on the 15th day of the first lunar month. He then ordered everybody to light lanterns on the evening of the 15th day from then onwards.
On the 15th day of Lunar New Year, Chinese people eat “Yuan Xiao” or “Tang Yuan”. Both look similar but are actually different in terms of fillings and methods of making.“Yuan Xiao” is more commonly eaten in northern China whereas “Tang Yuan'' is more common in southern China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia. The Chinese also believe that the round glutinous balls symbolise family togetherness and reunions.
Chap Goh Mei or the Lantern Festival is what the Chinese people celebrate on the 15th day of Lunar New Year. It is a very festive day, so be ready for the loud ?fireworks and ?firecrackers on the night of the 14th day of Lunar New Year!