If you have the habit of going to the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, located along Waterloo Street, on 26 Feb & 9 Mar 2021, I’ve got some bad news for you.
The temple will be closed on these two days.
What’s So Special About These Days
26 Feb 2021 is the Lantern Festival (元宵节), which typically falls on the 15th day of Chinese New Year.
On this day, scores of devotees will flock to the temper to offer their incense.
9 Mar 2021 is the Open Treasury Day (开库借红包) and on this day, the temple gives out red packets filled with coins.
These coins symbolise blessings that are borrowed from Guan Yin.
As you can probably tell, if the temple remains open on these two days, crowding will happen.
Which is what the temple doesn’t want.
Waterloo Temple Will be Closed on 26 Feb & 9 March to Prevent Crowds
For this year, the temple will be closed on both days to prevent crowds from gathering during this Covid-19 pandemic.
The reason for doing so is to protect the well-being of the devotees.
The temple will re-open again the following day.
Hopefully, fewer people will gather after the temple’s reopening compared to earlier this week.
Or, if they appear, to be as orderly as the crowd during the earlier re-opening.
Crowds Queued to Enter Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple on the First Day of Reopening
Devotees turned up by the thousands at Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple on Monday (15 Feb) to receive blessings for the New Year.
Thousands reportedly queued to enter the temple when it reopened at 7am.
And when the Straits Times visited the temple in the afternoon, there were still 500 people waiting in line while obeying safe-distancing measures.
Certis cisco officers were deployed to ensure safe distancing in the queue, and devotees could only enter the temple if they checked in using SafeEntry or TraceTogether tokens.
At the moment, a maximum of 250 congregants is allowed in a house of worship.
Dr Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious disease expert from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, said the risk of infection is low if devotees adhered to safe distancing rules and kept their masks on at all times.
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