Devotees throng temples, churches for New Year special prayers

All churches and temples in Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Thoothukudi and Kanniyakumari districts received devotees in droves and they participated in the New Year special prayers that were offered since Friday midnight.

At St. Xavier’s Cathedral in Palayamkottai, Rt Rev. Antonysamy, Bishop of Palayamkottai Roman Catholic (RC) Diocese, led the midnight New Year Holy Mass and similar celebrations were conducted in all RC and Church of South India churches across the district.

Police personnel had been deployed in front of all churches and also at important junctions where the law-enforcers had erected barricades to control speeding vehicles.

Devotees thronged Nellaiyappar Gandhimathi Amman Temple right from early morning to offer New Year special prayers.

In Thoothukudi, RC Bishop Rt. Rev. Stephen Antony celebrated the Holy Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

The coastal town of Tiruchendur struggled to handle the huge number of devotees thronging Subramaniaswamy Temple where the sanctum sanctorum was opened at 1 a.m. for special prayers. However, devotees, who were not allowed to offer New Year prayers for the past two years due to COVID-19 restrictions, were waiting in front of the temple right from 11 p.m.

As the temple experienced unprecedented surge of devotees from all over Tamil Nadu and other States since Friday midnight, they were allowed to take dharshan in the temple in a regulated manner in the wake of omicron-related restrictions. The devotees were not allowed to take bath in the sea and also at ‘Nazhikkinaru’. Those who were not wearing masks were sent out of the temple and they could enter the shrine again only after wearing a mask.

Superintendent of Police S. Jayakumar participated in the New Year celebrations conducted near Cruz Fernandez statue in Thoothukudi. He cut the cake along with his colleagues and distributed it to the public.

In Kanniyakumari, the police had banned the entry of tourists at ‘Triveni Sangamam’ beach in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions on Saturday. Hence, the visitors gathered at nearby Vavarai Beach to enjoy the calendar year’s first sun rise.

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