Queue To Enter Waterloo Street Temple On CNY Day 1 Has More Than 1,000 People At 8am
In the wee hours of Saturday (10 Feb) morning, scores of devotees queued in front of Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple to seek blessings.
Though the temple opens only at 7am, up to 400 people were seen in the queue at 6.30am.
Some devotees had queued up as early as 12.30am.
100 queue outside Waterloo temple at 6am on CNY Day 1
This year, Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple was not open on the night of Chinese New Year (CNY) eve, as has been the practice for the past four years.
Undeterred, devotees flocked to the temple on Waterloo Street after their Reunion dinner so they could be among the first to offer up their first incense of the Lunar New Year.
At 6am this morning — the first day of CNY — about 100 people were seen queueing up outside the temple, reported 8world News.
Most of them were middle-aged and elderly people, some of whom even brought their own chairs to wait out the line.
More than 20 vendors had also set up shop outside the temple at that time, grabbing the opportunity to sell flowers and incense to devotees.
Waterloo temple opens doors 30 mins early as CNY queue hits 400
By 6.30am, an estimated crowd of up to 400 had formed, with the queue orderly and stretching round to the other side of the plaza.
Though the temple was supposed to open at 7am, its doors opened 30 minutes earlier at 6.30am, perhaps to accommodate the large crowd.
By 7am, between 500 and 600 people had already gathered. Thankfully, the queue moved fast, and those who had finished their prayers left via a side door.
At about 8am, there were more than 1,000 people in the queue, 8world estimated.
That number possibly trumps that of 2023, when more than 1,000 people thronged the temple on the first day of CNY.
That crowd was described as the biggest seen at the temple in 40 years.
Man who was 1st in queue arrived at 12.30am
A man named only as Mr Xu (transliterated from Mandarin), was the first in queue.
He told 8world that he’d arrived at 12.30am after dinner — meaning he’d queued for about six hours.
Explaining that he prays at Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple every year, he reasoned that if he didn’t come he would just be playing mahjong at home.
Another devotee, a man named Ye Jinguang (transliterated from Mandarin), said he came to queue at 5am.
He doesn’t seek to get rich, he said, but only wants peace.
Crowd at Waterloo temple started from CNY Eve
The crowd at the temple started coming on Friday (9 Feb) — CNY Eve — before it closed at 6.30pm.
Some of these worshippers were there to get a headstart on their prayers for CNY, believing it would be less crowded than on CNY Day 1, reported 8world.
Those interviewed prayed for good health, safety and academic success for themselves and their family members.
While the temple will open as usual from 7am to 6.30pm during CNY, activities like fortune-telling and asking for peace charms will be suspended till Monday (12 Feb). They will resume on Tuesday (13 Feb).
Crowd descends on Sembawang temple too
Over at the Sembawang God of Wealth Temple — the only one in Singapore dedicated to the deity — a large crowd also descended on Friday (9 Feb) night.
8world reported that hundreds of devotees were seen queueing to enter the temple at 10.50pm.
This is the first CNY since the popular temple reopened in April 2023 after a blaze decimated the premises in 2020.
The ceremony to receive the God Of Wealth commenced after Dr Lim Wee Kiat, MP for Sembawang GRC, arrived at about 11pm.
In addition to the ceremony, the temple will be open from 9am for the first month of the Dragon Year for events like Worshipping Tai Sui, Mending Fate and celebrating the God of Wealth’s Grand Birthday, according to an event calendar on their Facebook page.
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Featured image adapted from 8world News on Facebook.
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