Online booking for Thaipusam devotees opens on Sunday at 8am

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 - Hindu devotees looking to book a slot at Sri Thendayuthapani Temple on Thaipusam, which takes place on Jan 28, can do so from this Sunday (Jan 3) at 8am.

The temple will be open from midnight to 9pm on Thaipusam.

The temple said on Saturday that the online booking system will be closed at 8pm on Jan 24.

Online bookings can be made at this website.

"Bearing in mind the rich tradition of the festival in Singapore as well as the utmost safety and well-being of devotees and their loved ones, the organising committee have made the necessary arrangements for a smooth and blissful Thaipusam for one and all," said the temple in a statement made in consultation with the Hindu Endowment Board and Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple.

During the festival, devotees typically fulfil their vows and carry paal kudams (milk pots) or kavadis, which are wooden or metal structures with milk offerings, into the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple in Tank Road.

The temples and the board previously said in December that there will be no foot procession between the two temples, unlike in previous years, and all forms of kavadis are banned, as it is not possible to maintain safe distancing to assemble and mount the kavadi.

The Sri Thendayuthapani Temple said on Saturday that only paal kudams pre-prepared by the temple will be allowed as offerings, and each paal kudam devotee can be accompanied by one other devotee.

Other devotees can register a slot for up to five devotees including themselves.

The temple added that devotees with any form of body piercing will not be allowed to enter.

Devotees who wish to fulfil their head-shaving (tonsuring) vows may do so by calling the temple office and making prior arrangements.

Head-shaving activity will not be carried out on the eve of and on the day of Thaipusam, said the temple.

"All elderly, young children and those who are physically challenged are encouraged to pray from home," added the temple.

All prayer proceedings will be live streamed via this website.

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