Yuan Xiao Jie (元宵節), more popularly known as Chap Gor Mei here in Singapore, is the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It’s a time where families get together to celebrate the last day of the Chinese New Year season, and it’s also a time where couples get together for an evening of romance, strolling under the night sky illuminated by a string of lanterns (it’s more so in China then it is here in Singapore).
Anyway, Yuan Xiao Jie holds special significance for both The Girlfriend and I because the first Valentine’s Day that we celebrated together just a few days after we got together, was not the Western one, but the Chinese one! (See Chinese Valentine’s Day and Our First Chinese Valentine’s Day)
So, what did we do for each other on this special occasion?
Well, The Girlfriend went out of her way to make tang yuan (湯圓) for me! (Tang yuan is some kind of Chinese dessert involving soft and chewy rice-flour balls, often with fillings like peanut and sesame inside, and it’s boiled together with peanut or ginger soup) I’m amazed because she actually made the soup and some of the tang yuan balls (she mixed it with some pre-made ones). For me, this was really epic because she doesn’t cook, and so this comes as a huge pleasant surprise! The effort put in was tremendous. I have no idea how she made the tang yuan, but it must have taken her the entire day.
Anyway, since we had our own family gatherings that evening, The Girlfriend had it packed in a metal container for me to eat much later in the night:
Oh wow! It’s soooooo nice! She even tried to make the tang yuan balls into the shape of a heart! So cool!
I love how the tang yuan was so chewy! It was soooo enjoyable enjoying this warm dessert. I do hope that she makes more for me again. (Haha… Are you reading this? One more bowl please! =p )
Anyway, as for me, I made her a little book:
I didn’t make the book. I just bought a notebook and started scribbling in it. I call it, “The Book of Love.”
Inside, are pictures and words of the very things we’ve been through together for the past 1+ year that makes her light up with a huge smile on her face.
Pandas are one of them.
Heeeheee… I figured this will be a really fun book to read and re-read again year after year after year to remind us of all the wonderful things that we’ve been through.
I wonder how it’ll be like when we read this book again next Chinese Valentine’s Day.