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Saturday, 20 January 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

‘All Hindu temples must close during lunar eclipse’

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Hindu Sangam wants all Hindu temples in the country to close during the total lunar eclipse that will coincide with Thaipusam on Jan 31.

In a statement jointly issued with 20 other Hindu groups, its president Datuk R.S. Mohan Shan said the temples should be closed from 7pm to 11.30pm.

“This is practised by all Hindus in the country for hundreds of years,” he said, adding that temples around the world, including those in India and Singapore, would also be observing the closure.

This came in the wake of an announcement by the Sri Subra­maniar Temple in Batu Caves that it would stay open during the eclipse.

Its temple committee said that it was impossible to close during the festival from Jan 29 to Feb 1.

Mohan said that announcement received international media attention, claiming that local devotees were now calling for a boycott of the Sri Subramaniar Temple.

“We are strictly against the boycotting of any temple. No Hindu should boycott any temple,” Mohan said.

He said during the eclipse, devotees should not perform religious rituals but were encouraged to meditate and chant mantras.

Mohan also urged devotees wanting to take the kavadi during Thaipusam to follow guidelines.