Waterloo Street Temple Won’t Have Midnight Incense Offering (Again)

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Do you believe that the first person to place incense into the temple’s urn will have the greatest year ahead?

Well, you might want to start looking for other methods to guarantee yourself an auspicious year, as Waterloo Street Temple has cancelled their annual midnight incense offering again.

CNY Doesn’t Mean We Can Forget COVID-19 Exists

And the temple is making sure we know that.

There will be no midnight incense offerings just like last year, and the temple will also close earlier on Chinese New Year (CNY) Eve. The temple’s 31 January operating hours are 7am to 12:30pm, and 1pm to 6:30pm.

The temple will also be closed on the first two days of CNY, and will open again at 7am on the third day,

Measures have been implemented to ensure safe distancing, like a maximum capacity of 50 people in the temple at one time.

There is also a visitation limit based on the last digit of your NRIC number. Those with an odd last digit can only visit the temple on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Meanwhile, those with an even last digit can only visit on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

If you’re planning to go to the temple, take note that other offerings such as fruits and flowers are not accepted!

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Annual Midnight Incense Offerings A Tradition in Waterloo Street Temple

Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, more commonly known as Waterloo Street Temple, was built in 1884 on… you guessed it, Waterloo Street.

It is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Singapore and has been a popular place of worship for devotees of Guan Yin, the Chinese goddess of mercy.

It is also famous for its CNY eve incense offering event, where thousands of devotees rush to offer incense to welcome the new year. However, the event was cancelled this year and last year as well, due to COVID-19 safe measurements.

It is a belief that the first person to place incense in the urn will have an auspicious year, which is why you could often see an army of devotees rushing to the urn during pre-COVID-19 times.

Speaking of an auspicious year, be sure to check whether you need to bai tai sui to counter any bad luck the stars have for you this CNY!

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Featured Image: Facebook (Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Info Portal)

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