SINGAPORE - More than 5,000 devotees turned up at the Hindu sanctum of the multi-religious Loyang Tua Pek Kong temple on Friday (Oct 27) morning, where they witnessed priests from India and Singapore sprinkling holy water on the facade of the Sri Maha Ganapathy sanctum.
They were at the consecration ceremony of the sanctum, which took place between 6.45am and 8am.
All Hindu temples undergo renovations and repairs every 12 years, and the temple and its deities have to be re-consecrated through a ritual known as maha kumbabhishekam.
The sanctum, which had undergone refurbishment works from April to September, has been repainted and waterproofed. There were also 16 new statues of the various forms of the Sri Maha Ganapathy deity that have been installed in the sanctum. About 500 volunteers also helped out with the event.
The guests of honour at the ceremony included Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and fellow Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MPs Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary and Mr Zainal Sapari.
Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, DPM Teo said that the event was a good example of multi-religious and multi-racial harmony in Singapore.
"The temple and the various shrines here have attracted more people over the years, and it's a good indication of how Singaporeans can live together in harmony."
The Loyang Tua Pek Kong, located off Loyang Way, was established in the 1980s. Besides the Hindu sanctum, it houses Taoist and Buddhist deities, and a Muslim shrine called a kramat, with a dedicated area for each religion.
Public servant P. Shanthikumar, 63, who lives in Clementi, travelled to Loyang on Friday to attend the ceremony with his friend.
"To Hindus, (the consecration ceremony) is something that you must witness at least once in your lifetime. There's a belief that good things will happen to you after that, and you can get your mind and soul cleansed," he said.