Although kavadi-bearing is not allowed for Thaipusam this year, three other activities such as the paal koodam (milk offerings), chariot procession and hair cutting are allowed.
President of Perak Hindu Temples, M. Vivekananda said the second biggest religious festival for Hindus is carried out on a moderate scale this year following the regulations by the Ministry of National Unity.
“We follow the rules and terms issued by the government to carry it out on a moderate scale this year following the set standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure safety in the effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“As usual, the festival will be celebrated at Sri Subramaniar Temple, Gunung Cheroh but the participation this year has reduced compared to the previous year.
“For the chariot procession on January 16 and 19, it will be joined by a total of 100 people only and only involves seven stops. Participants need to register and obtain the approval from the police (PDRM).
“The stalls which were previously set up along the road near the temple are not allowed. In fact, any form of commerce is not allowed,” he explained to Ipoh Echo during a phone interview today.
Thaipusam is a festival celebrated by Hindus globally, dedicated to the Hindu god Murugan who is also known as Subramaniam.
- Vivekananda added that the paal koodam ceremony has been set earlier, from January 14 till 19.
“Paal koodam bearing is allowed in compliance with Thaipusam SOPs. The temple management has to prepare a special route for paal koodam bearers and ensure that the one-metre distancing marks are visible and abided by,” he said.