New Delhi: The annual Chithirai festival which is organised at the Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai will not be celebrated in its usual manner due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The festival marks the marriage of Lord Sundareswarar to Goddess Meenakshi.
The festival which under normal circumstances is celebrated in a grand manner will see no participation from people this year.
A total of four priests will perform the 'celestial wedding' at Lord Sundareswarar's first corridor of the sanctum sanctorum. The priests will be following social distancing as per the orders issued by the government.
In a statement, N Natarajan, Joint Commissioner, Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, said, “to fulfil the prayers of devotees and to their satisfaction, the celestial wedding will be held in the first corridor of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple on May 4, 2020”.
Since devotees cannot be physically present this year, the ceremony will telecasted live at www.maduraimeenakshi.org, Natarajan added.
Under normal circumstances, 50 priests would have performed the six ritual ceremonies during the day, including the processions, Thigvijayam (coronation), and so on.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, P T R Palanivel Thiagarajan, DMK MLA from Madurai (Central) constituency, said, “I have never heard or read in the diaries of my grandfather and father about the cancellation of the festival. This is probably the first time and the government should ensure that the rules it has drafted apply to everyone. Nobody should be allowed inside the temple by violating the rule."