Madurai, April 24: The famous annual Chithirai festival, wherein the celestial wedding of Goddess Madurai Meenakshi Amman with her consort Lord Sundareswarar happens, was conducted in a minimalistic manner at Madurai's Meenakshi Amman Temple on Saturday.

Owing to the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, the temple authorities had decided to conduct the festival without devotees' participation. Following COVID-19 norms, the ritual took place inside the temple vicinity. Meenakshi Thirukalyanam, The Celestial Wedding of Lord Sundareswarar And Goddess Meenakshi, Part of Chithirai Festival Takes Place at Tamil Nadu Temple.

On Wednesday, Kalyanotsavam (a marriage ceremony) of Lord Ram also took place without the presence of worshippers at the Lord Rama temple in Telangana's Bhadrachalam.

Even the annual Hindu festival, Thrissur Pooram in Kerala was celebrated in the absence of devotees. This year, several rituals of various festivals have been forced to be performed without permitting the entry of devotees at the temples as COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the country. Tamil Nadu recorded 5,620 new COVID-19 cases and 78 related deaths in the past 24 hours.

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