Recognizing the Cap Go Meh Celebration in Chinese New Year Traditions
SEAToday.com, Jakarta-The Cap Go Meh tradition is part of the Chinese New Year. Cap Go Meh comes from the Hokkien dialect. "Cap" means "ten", "Go" means "five", and "Meh" means "night". Thus, Cap Go Meh means the fifteenth night of the first month of the Chinese calendar.
In Mandarin, Cap Go Meh is called Yuan Xiao Jie which means January night festival. Cap Go Meh is the culmination of Chinese New Year events organized with various traditions. This celebration is believed to be a bad luck ceremony, where people perform various methods to drive away evil spirits.
Cap Go Meh celebrations usually begin with prayers at the temple, followed by gong and cymbal accompaniment, lion dance performances, and other traditional Chinese culture performances.
Cap Go Meh is usually held two weeks after Chinese New Year or on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese calendar. With this calculation, Cap Go Meh 2024 falls on Saturday, February 24, 2024. The Cap Go Meh celebration was originally held as a day to honor the Thai Yi God. He was considered the highest God in the sky by the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 221 AD).
At that time, the celebration was also held in private within the palace. The general Chinese public did not know about the celebration. Until finally when the Han Dynasty's reign ended, this celebration was more open to the public. (DHITA/DKD)