Malaysians will be ushering in Ponggal next Thursday, Jan 14, amid new norms due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Malaysia Hindu Sangam, the sunrise in Kuala Lumpur on that day will be at 7.26am, but the people are advised against putting ponggal between that time and 8.55am as it is "Yamagandam".

"Between 9am and 10.20am is the ideal time to have ponggal. For those who cannot celebrate at that time, can do so from 11.55am to 1.20pm," Hindu Sangam president RS Mohan Shan said in a statement yesterday.

Mohan further urged Malaysians to usher in the harvest festival at home, if possible, due to the COVID-19 situation in the country.

However, for those who want to join in celebrations in the temple, Mohan had a suggestion.

"The number of devotees cannot exceed 40 people at any given time.

"People and organisations are also advised against holding private ponggal functions, to avoid having unmonitored crowds gathering," said Mohan.

"We hope all will abide by the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the government to give rise to new hope amid the pandemic."

View the statement in full, below:

Photo Credit: South Tourism India