Chap Goh Meh. That's supposed to be the first full moon of the new lunar calendar. In the olden days, the Chinese in Penang would be celebrating this cultural festival in a very big way. There would be a grand procession through the city and somewhere along the line would be a Dondang Sayang troupe touring on a brightly lit bus.
Anyway, it was reported in New Straits Times that on 29 Nov 2018, Unesco had recognised Dondang Sayang as an intangible cultural heritage. That's good news, isn't it? The recognition was made under the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage 2003. The last time Malaysia was given a similar endorsement was 14 years ago for the Mak Yong performance art form in 2005.
Then normally at about one o'clock, I would walk to the nearby Poh Hock Seah, otherwise known as the Tua Pek Kong Temple, in Armenian Street to make my worship to the Tua Pek Kong deity. Although this has become habitual for me to go there on Chap Goh Meh day itself, I can't quite remember when I exactly I first began this practice.
The Star newspaper that the God of Prosperity has predicted a good first four months for businesses in Penang, based on the flame watching ceremony at the Hai Choo Soo Temple in Tanjong Tokong. The first fanning of the embers in the deity's urn gave rise to a high and strong flame but the intensity died down for the subsequent two flames.
Now, whether or not you believe in this prediction remains to be seen but this has been an age-long ritual in Penang since 1844.
I tried to take photographs of the full moon on Chap Goh Meh night but unfortunately, it had rained in the afternoon and there was a very thick cloud cover throughout the night. This completely obliterated all my attempts to view the moon. Luckily, though, I had already taken a snap shot of the moon on the eve of Chap Goh Meh. The moon was still round enough but it wasn't completely illuminated.
In comparison, this picture below was taken on the night after Chap Goh Meh, effectively the 16th day of the lunar month. Both pictures were taken around 11.50 pm to midnight.