Hundreds Queue At Waterloo Street Temple On 17 Jul As Devotees Pay Respects To Guanyin Ma

Waterloo Street Temple Sees Long Snaking Queues On 17 Jul

After two years of battling Covid-19, we can enjoy greater freedom in our daily lives as restrictions have significantly eased.

And for the first time since the pandemic hit, devotees of Goddess of Mercy, AKA Guanyin Ma, were able to physically celebrate her day of enlightenment with prayers at the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.

On Sunday (17 Jul), long queues of devotees formed outside the temple.

Source: Facebook

According to Lianhe Zaobao, there were about 400 to 500 devotees in the queue even before the temple doors opened.

Many devout worshippers expressed excitement that they were finally able to seek blessings at the temple during the special occasion again.

Hundreds queue outside Waterloo temple on 17 Jul

Sunday (17 Jul) was the first time Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple could open to devotees to celebrate Guanyin Ma’s second birthday since the pandemic began.

At 6.40am, 20 minutes before the temple opened, there were already long snaking queues made up of 400 to 500 people, reported Lianhe Zaobao.

As the day went on, queues extended past the next-door Sri Krishnan Temple along Bencoolen Link road.

Source: Facebook

When the temple doors opened, queues reportedly moved quickly in an orderly manner.

Even at 12pm, the long queues persisted as devotees braved the hot afternoon sun to seek blessings from Guanyin Ma.

waterloo temple 17 Jul

Source: Facebook

Devotees turned up since 5.30am

Speaking to Lianhe Zaobao, 27-year-old Ms Zhuo (transliterated from Chinese), who was at the start of the queue, said she arrived at the temple at 5.30am.

Ms Zhuo said she has been a fortune teller for over two years and Guanyin Ma’s birthday holds special significance for her.

She went on to add that on this occasion the past two years, she had only been able to seek blessings from Guanyin outside the temple.

It’s exciting to be able to enter the temple this year and offer up flowers to the Goddess herself.

Another devotee, 55-year-old Ms Tan, said she arrived at 7.30am and joined the back of the queue near Sri Krishnan Temple. The queue was smooth-sailing and within 15 minutes, she managed to enter the temple.

Ms Tan expressed that compared to pre-Covid times, the crowd seems to have doubled in size. She opined that this could be because Guanyin Ma’s birthday happened to fall on a Sunday.

Crowds typical on special occasions

At the moment, Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple restricts worshippers from using bamboo lots or kneeling at the altar.

However, devotees can offer up fresh flowers to the Goddess at the temple.

Outside the temple, more than ten stalls were set up since the break of day. Most of the stalls sold fresh flowers, joss sticks and candles, or offered fortune telling services.

waterloo temple 17 Jul

Source: Facebook

Police officers were also stationed in the temple to ensure smooth operations. Devotees were required to stand in a row to do their prayers.

waterloo temple 17 Jul

Source: Facebook

Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple typically sees long queues every year on Guanyin’s day of enlightenment, which falls on 19 Jun of the lunar calendar.

Back in 2020, thousands turned up at the temple to offer up flowers. In 2020, the temple was closed to worshippers, reported Lianhe Zaobao.

Glad things went smoothly

The pandemic has disrupted the celebration of many special occasions in the past years.

With restrictions eased, it is heartening to see devotees show up in throngs as they can once again pay their respects in person.

And thankfully, even with the large crowds, things were conducted smoothly and safely.

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