9 Emperor Gods Festival To Scale Down Celebrations This Year
With the Covid-19 pandemic, some of our religious ceremonies this year might look a little different from previous years.
The 9 Emperor Gods Festival that begins on 17 Oct till 25 Oct is no exception.
In light of the Coivd-19 pandemic, some popular festivities held in celebration of the 9 Emperor Gods Festival will not be open to members of the public.
9 Emperor Gods Festival will have no seaside ritual & car parade
According to Lianhe Zaobao, MCCY has been consulting with the Taoist Federation and the sixteen 9 Emperor Gods Temples for the past few weeks.
On Thursday (1 Oct), the safety measures are finally announced.
Despite the relaxed rules, it looks like festivities this year will still have to be scaled back quite a bit.
One major change is that the public seaside welcoming ritual that typically takes place at East Coast Park will not be allowed.
Additionally, the car parade that typically attracts crowds will also not be permitted this year.
Although the public cannot participate in the welcoming ceremony and car parade, it’ll still be conducted by temple staff.
The 9 Emperor Gods Festival will take place from Sunday (17 Oct) onwards, with festivities happening from 16 Oct – the 30th day of the 8th lunar month – till 25 Oct.
MCCY safety guidelines for temples
MCCY also listed the safety measures all 16 participating 9 Emperor Gods Temples would have to adhere to throughout the festivities.
For starters, safe distancing measures would have to be enforced at all times, ensuring that devotees are kept 1m away from each other.
The duration of worships also has to be kept to a minimum — worshippers have to leave once they are done.
Though devotees are allowed to burn incense and joss paper in the temple, they are not allowed to share materials and equipment.
The temple is also not allowed to serve meals to worshippers.
Important to continue to observe safety measures
While authorities are easing Covid-19 safety measures, it will do us well to remember that we are not out of the woods yet when it comes to Covid-19.
As the 9 Emperors God Festival draws near, we hope all worshippers will continue to observe the rules as they celebrate the event.
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Featured image adapted from Facebook.