Meenakshi Temple Celebrates Diwali with Covid-19 Precautions

Pearland: Sri Meenakshi Temple Society celebrated Diwali on Saturday, Nov 14th  2020. Due to the current unprecedented COVID pandemic, Diwali this year was celebrated in a much more subdued mode without the traditional bazaar, fireworks, kids’ carnival activities and Rath yathra. Advance information was provided in the weeks prior to the event that the temple would be open to general public as a regular temple day only without the traditional daylong festivities while following strict CDC guidelines.

The day turned out to be very pleasant with a partly sunny sky which brought a steady stream of devotees throughout the day. Everyone who attended the event, welcomed the meticulously planned safety precautions that were in place to make sure that they all felt safe while visiting the temple.  This was the main priority for the event coordinator as well as MTS Board members. The devotees got their temperature checked by the Seva clinic student volunteers and everyone was issued an entry pass wristband while they were still seated in their cars with rolled down windows. .

Lakshmi Puja and Deepavali Katchi were arranged for the morning from 10.30 to noon when devotees were allowed inside as per previously determined capacity limits while no one was allowed to sit down during the puja to avoid congregation. There was a clearly marked entry to the main temple which lead them to all the deities for a closer Darshan.  Every devotee was given a sweet laddu prasadam when they exited  the main temple .

To enhance devotee viewing experience, the eye catching Golu display from Navrathri was kept intact until Diwali weekend Two giant decorated life-like white elephants were stationed outside the entrance of the main temple which turned out to be the most photographed spot on this Diwali day.

Outdoor dining was arranged, and devotees had the choice of either eating in their cars or at the socially distanced picnic tables and chairs arranged at the sprawling lawn area. 

MTS also recognized a total of 10 MTS student scholarship recipients and distributed their award checks and the certificates. One of the students Nithya, daughter of our temple priest, Parameshwaran who studied at Pearland High school received the special award which was set up in memory of Priest Rajarathna Bhattar.

Both the Diwali 2020 and the MTS student scholarship award ceremony were coordinated by the current Joint Treasurer Dr. Al Alagappan.

Kudos to the entire MTS Board, priests, shilpies, staff and countless volunteers lead by MTS Chairman Dhani Kannan for making this Diwali event happen providing the community the opportunity to worship safely under the current pandemic conditions