KUALA LUMPUR: After low-key celebrations for two years due to strict Covid-19 standard operating procedure, the Tamil, Sikh and Malayalee communities in the country are set to usher in their respective major festivals in grand fashion today and tomorrow.

Chittirai Puttandu, the Tamil New Year, and the Sikh Vaisakhi is celebrated today while the Vishu festival will be observed by the Malayalee community tomorrow.

Malaysia Hindu Sangam president Datuk RS Mohan Shan said the Tamil community was expected to celebrate the new year on a grand scale to usher in a new beginning following the relaxation on restrictions after April 1.

He said prayers could be held in temples without the need for physical distancing.

“This year is known as Subakiruthu year and it begins at 10.24am on April 14,” he said.

The birth of the Tamil month of Chittirai is marked annually on the first day of the Tamil solar calendar.

Since April 1, the people have been able to enjoy relaxation in restrictions, with the implementation of a set of SOP and nine guidelines which have been simplified from 181 requirements under the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

Malaysian Hindu Malayalee Cultural and Traditional Association (PAKAR Malayalee Malaysia) president Dr NR Nambiar said the new year would be more meaningful to celebrate with family, unlike in the last two years.

“Most of us celebrated virtually but this year everyone can get together at their parents’ house and prepare the Vishukkani, an assortment of auspicious items with flowers, tulsi (holy basil), konnapoo (cassia fistula flower), grains and rice,” Bernama quoted him as saying.Vishu marks the first day of the Zodiac New Year, the first day of the month called Medam.

According to Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia president Dr Jasbir Singh, about 120,000 Sikhs will celebrate Vaisakhi by visiting the Gurdwara where celebrations will take place until April 17.

“Several Gurdwara will organise games and there will also be stalls. I would like to advise all Sikhs to adhere to the SOP,” he added.

Vaisakhi commemorates the birth or establishment of Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th Sikh Guru in 1699.

A check at Little India in Brickfields and in Jalan Tengku Kelana in Klang, saw Indians making final preparations for the festivals by buying flowers, prayer items and “thoranam’ (hanging decorative items made from young coconut fronds).