MELAKA: The majestic Wangkang barge will not "sail" as scheduled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, says the festival’s organising committee.
Organising chairman Datuk Ronald Gan said the procession that was slotted on Nov 15 has been postponed, indefinitely.
"Decision to postpone the event was reached after taking several matters into consideration.
"We like to thank the state government for their support and encouragement, but the committee decided to play our role in curbing the spread of the pandemic," he said in an interview on Monday (Oct 26).
Gan said the event will, however, continue at a very small scale by using smaller boats to collect the “wandering souls” but the "Royal Barge" will not go out.
"There will be no burning of the barge this year, but prayers at the temple will go on as planned," he said, adding that another date would be set for the procession once the situation permits.
Gan said he will also hold a media briefing on Tuesday (Oct 27) on matters relating to the rituals linking to the event.
He said for the first time, Wangkang Festival 2020, has incorporated the barge name as "KD Negara Aman", in view that the festival also attracts spectators from various ethnicities.
This year's event was initiated with the hope of breaking the jinx responsible for raging global Covid-19 cases by eliminating the negative elements through a symbolic ritual.
The Wangkang festival is organised to collect wandering souls, evil spirits and other negative elements on the barge before to another dimension.