Thaipusam procession to end earlier due to lunar eclipse

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As a result of a total lunar eclipse taking place on Jan 31 next year from 6.51pm to 11.11pm, the approximately 24-hour Thaipusam procession will be cut short by 5½ hours, as Hindu temples have to close when it gets dark.

Hindus consider eclipses inauspicious as "light and energy from the Sun or Moon are blocked and cannot reach the Earth". Temples close for the duration the astronomical event can be witnessed in Singapore.

It is an "unprecedented event" where the Thaipusam procession will be cut short in Singapore, said president A.R. Ramasamy of the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple yesterday. He urged the 10,000 or so devotees who will be carrying paal kudams, or milk pots, to start at night on Jan 30 and the 600-plus kavadi-bearers to begin at 2am on Jan 31.

The procession will start at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road and end at the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple in Tank Road. The cut-off time to begin the journey is 1pm, while the doors of the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple will shut by 6.30pm. - THE STRAITS TIMES