Chariot Processions for Hindu Festival Called Off

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MALAYSIA, August 21, 2020 (The Star): There will be no chariot processions for the Vinayagar Chaturthi festival tomorrow, says Malaysian Hindu Sangam president. Datuk R.S. Mohan Shan explained that temples had decided to cancel their customary chariot processions as it would be very difficult to follow the National Security Council’s (MKN) standard operating procedures (SOP) under the recovery movement control order. Mohan said that despite the cancellation of chariot processions, special prayers at temples would continue as planned. “Devotees can visit temples to observe the special prayers while adhering to the SOP, such as compulsory wearing of face masks, sanitizing hands and maintaining physical distancing. “Temples will only be able to accept one-third of their maximum visitor capacity at a time. “Devotees can also choose to conduct special prayers for Lord Ganesha at home, which is just as good,” he said.

Kuala Lumpur Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam chairman Tan Sri R. Nadarajah said in a statement that the three temples under its management, including Courthill Sri Ganesar Temple in Jalan Pudu Lama, would celebrate the festival on a moderate scale. “Unlike previous years, there will be no golden chariot procession from the Courthill Sri Ganesar Temple to the city center on the eve of the festival. “All prayers will take place only in the respective temples,” he stressed. Kampung Pandan Sri Ganesar Temple president Datuk S.P. Ravichandran also said the Vinayagar Chaturthi celebration at the temple would be on a moderate scale and without the silver chariot procession.

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