The Macau government announced Saturday that the annual Kun Iam Treasury Opening Festival, which traditionally takes place on the 26th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, has been cancelled due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) menace.
The festival, which usually attracts huge crowds of the faithful, was scheduled to be held in the night from next Tuesday to Wednesday at eight temples.
Kun Iam is the local spelling of the name of the Buddhist divinity known as Guanyin elsewhere.
Due to the government’s anti-COVID-19 prevention measures, Macau’s Buddhist and Taoist temples are currently closed at night.
Most Macau residents are understood to follow a blend of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
In local folk belief, Kun Iam is one of Macau’s three tutelary deities, alongside A-Ma (also known as Tin Hau or Mazu) and the Virgin Mary.
Macau’s Roman-Catholic diocese and various Protestant denominations have also adjusted their church services in response to the viral threat.
The Macau Diocese has closed all Catholic churches and masses.