DESPITE restrictions following the Covid-19 pandemic, it was a smooth and hearty start to the Tamil New Year for some 300 devotees at the Sri Selva Vinayagar Hindu Paripalana Devasthanam Temple in Prai near Butterworth, Penang.
Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB) executive director M. Ramachandran said the temple’s main event this year was its prayer ceremony.
“We reduced our visitor capacity this year and had a very smooth ceremony.
“This time around, we only received a total of 300 devotees in the entire morning.
“During the ceremony, we burnt over 50 types of items as a form of gratitude.
“Some of the items we burned included fruits, joss sticks, clothing, sandalwood and other items, ” he said when contacted.
Ramachandran said the prayers ceremony, which is a form of thanksgiving, was also to seek forgiveness and to pray for the world.
“We want to pray to God to help us clean up the pandemic and save the world.
“As this is our New Year, we wanted to mark a new beginning and start the day with a good prayers session, ” he added.
Also present during the ceremony was Penang Deputy Chief Minister ll Dr P. Ramasamy.
Chithirai Puthandu (Tamil New Year) is celebrated by ethnic Tamils around the world during the first day of Tamil month Chithirai.
It usually falls on April 14 in the Gregorian calendar.
Puthandu marks a new beginning and the Tamil community usually starts the day by making a visit to temples or prayers at home.