Thaipusam different for devotees this year due to ongoing MCO

IPOH: The Thaipusam celebration will be different this year for devotees due to the conditional movement control order in place here.

For 35-year-old florist N.Satchiathanandhan, he will miss the kavadi and fasting for Lord Muruga.

“We fast for Lord Muruga, so that we can pray on Thaipusam day to get his blessing. Since there will be no special prayers for the devotees in temples, we will conduct our prayers at home, ” he told The Star on Monday (Jan 18)

Satchia said usually the day before Thaipusam will be the time they will walk carrying milk pots (Paal Kudam) to the temple.

“I will miss the walk to the temple, while carrying the milk. It is sad that we cannot perform our prayers and celebrate Thaipusam due to the ongoing conditional MCO, ” he said.

Similar views were shared by 24-year-old engineer P. Arivin from Ipoh, who said that he will miss the long walk with his friends to the temple.

He said that he and his friends will usually join the chariot procession starting from the temple in Buntong to the Sri Subramaniyar Temple at Gunung Cheroh, Ipoh.

Arvin added that what he would miss the most is the devotees giving free food and drinks from the Thaneer Panthals (refreshment stalls) set up along the route.

“Since I am currently in Kuala Lumpur, I have no choice but to just stay at home. I was told that a special prayer will be held at a nearby temple. I hope it will be live-streamed so at least devotees like me can watch and pray together, ” he said.

Following the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin imposed a layered MCO from Jan 13 to Jan 26.

States like Penang, Selangor, Labuan, Melaka, Johor, Sabah and Kelantan have been placed under MCO while a conditional MCO is being enforced in Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah and Terengganu. Perlis and Sarawak are under a recovery MCO.

On Jan 14, Ipoh Hindu Devasthana Paripalana Sabah president M. Vivekananda said that Thaipusam would only be celebrated on a small scale in the city, including no procession (Ratham), head-shaving and ear-piercing activities.

This follows an announcement on Jan 9 that no Thaipusam festivities and procession will be held in Penang and that devotees have been advised to offer prayers at their home.

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