This Year, Waterloo Temple Will Still Not Be Open for the Iconic Incense Offering on CNY Eve


With the Chinese New Year (CNY) season approaching, some of us might be looking to good food.

But for those looking to participate in the incense offering event at the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple along Waterloo Street this year, here’s some bad news.

Despite the relaxed COVID-19 safe management measures in Singapore, the temple’s management has decided that the temple will not be open for the CNY incense offering event this year.

This marks the third consecutive time that the activity has been cancelled; it was also cancelled in 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s what you need to know.

Temple Will Only be Open from 7 am to 6.30 pm on CNY Eve

When speaking to 8world, a spokesperson from the temple explained today (5 January) that the temple will only be open from 7 am to 6.30 pm on the Eve of Chinese New Year this year (21 January) instead of being open until late at night.

This means that the incense offering event, which usually takes place at midnight on the first day of CNY, will not take place this year.

For the past two CNY Eves, the temple also closed its doors at 6.30 pm.

Opening Hours of Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple for CNY This Year

On the other hand, the temple will remain open for the first and second days of CNY (22 and 23 January).

It will be open from 7 am to 6.30 pm on both days, just like its usual opening hours.

As for the CNY period between 20 and 24 January, the temple will also temporarily halt various activities such as “Kau Chim”, a fortune-telling process where fortune sticks are shaken out of an oracle lot.


The temple will also not take in any requests for protective talismans during this period of time.

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More About the Incense Offering Event

For those unfamiliar with the incense offering event, it involves trying to be the first person to place joss sticks in an urn at the temple on the first day of CNY.

Many devotees would gather at the temple at night on CNY Eve to participate in the event.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of people would try to jostle their way past each other to be the first to plant their joss sticks at the stroke of midnight.

The cancellation of the event in 2021 marked the first-ever cancellation of the event.

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Featured Image: PARINYA ART /