Temples play a significant role in the daily lives of Tamil people. Initially major temples had organised thermal screenings for devotees and attempted to disinfect the surfaces of temples as precautionary measures. Eventually, with the rise of COVID-19, all 36,000 temples were shut for public gatherings. Although priests have been conducting prayers in temple premises as per routine, all major festivals were cancelled for public participation.
Meenakshi Tirukalyanam is a cultural practice of performing the celestial wedding of Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Shiva in the first half of the Chithirai festival. It is organised in the Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Temple in the historic city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
The temple is befittingly decorated for the royal wedding adding to its architectural splendor, attended in lakhs by its worshipping communities.
Although the month long religious fete was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic, it is also said to be cancelled during the plague outbreak in the 13th century and during the second world war. With revised restrictions, the festival is going to take place following due precautions with a minimum number of priests. The entire ritual practice is going to be live-streamed for the first time, establishing yet again that Tamil temples have always kept at par with technological advancements !
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