Go-to guide for Thaipusam 2021

The Thaipusam procession on Feb 8, 2020. Unlike previous years, there will be no foot procession in the festival this month.
The Thaipusam procession on Feb 8, 2020. Unlike previous years, there will be no foot procession in the festival this month.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The annual Thaipusam festival takes a different form due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with activities in and around Sri Thendayuthapani Temple in Tank Road on Thursday (Jan 28).

Tank Road will be closed to traffic from 3pm on Wednesday. While no foot processions with Kavadis - wooden or metal structures with milk offerings - will be carried from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road, devotees will still be able to carry Paal Kudams or milk pots into the temple at Tank Road.

Arrival

- Devotees must present a print-out or SMS sent to their phones with the booking confirmation to enter the temple.

- Devotees can arrive 10 minutes before their time slot for registration.

- Footwear can be removed at two sandal removal points close to entrances A and B.

- Barricades and signs will be in place to direct visitors to the entry and exit points.

Visit route

There are two separate gates for entry into the temple, with no mingling allowed between the two routes to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Entrance A: General devotee entry point

- General visitors with a pre-booking to arrive for registration at the Tank Road entry point.

- After registration, they will join three single lanes towards the temple entrance.

- After completing prayers at the sanctum, they are directed to the exit point at Clemenceau Avenue.

- They can collect packed food offerings at the exit point.

Entrance B: Devotees carrying milk pots

- Devotees wishing to carry milk pots to arrive for registration at the River Valley Road entry point.

- Each devotee carrying a milk pot can be accompanied by one other individual.

- After registration, devotees will be ushered to four holding zones to prevent overcrowding inside the temple.

- Pre-prepared milk pots are given out at a designated point before devotees walk a round of the sanctum.

- After offering milk at a collection point, they are directed to the exit point at Clemenceau Avenue (separate from the general devotees' exit route).

- They can collect packed food offerings at the exit point.

Restrictions

Stringent measures have been put in place at this year's festival to ensure safety.

- Visitors need non-transferable pre-booked time slots in order to enter the temple on Thaipusam.

- Kavadis, ceremonial piercings and musical instruments/ amplication devices will not be allowed. There will be no shaving of heads at the temple.

- Visitors must wear masks at all times and adhere to safe distancing measures during their visit.

- Only milk pots prepared by the temple can be used for offerings.

- Visitors will not be allowed to gather outside the temple.