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Thimithi (Theemithi) – A Festival of walking on Fire

I am a religious person. I worship Cultures, People, Places, Colors, Emotions, Nature, Sunrise, Sunset and list goes on! Whatever evokes emotion in me is included in my list. Singapore being a boiling pot of various cultures gives me opportunities to capture some of part of it.

When I shot Thimith last year (2015) I witnessed the power of faith. Faith, that makes devotees walk over a pit full of red hot burning woods, that too, unwithered. I was moved by the devotion and decided to attend the festival this year as well. This year festival was celebrated on 23rd ofย  October. The venue was same as last year, Sri Mariamman Temple, near China Town MRT. The fire walking ceremony was scheduled to begin at 7PM but due to rain in evening, the patron could not build up the fire pit on time and as a result, the event was postponed by few hours. I reached the venue around 5:30 PM and queued up for the entry. A donation to the temple would have got me a VIP entry pass. Never mind I had nothing better to do so I decided to queue up instead. I got an entry to upper stall (on First floor) around 8:30 PM.

** Please check my earlier post if you want to read about the historical significance of this event and legends behind it **

Viewers and supporters flocking to get view of event

Viewers and supporters flocking to get view of event

Preparation of Fire Pit, 2.7m long

Preparation of Fire Pit, 2.7m long

I got an entry to upper stall (on First floor) around 8:30 PM. View from the upper stall was nothing to praise about. No one could see the fire pit and devotees walking over it. The only best part about being seated here was that we got some snacks to eat. Some nearby attendees were watching the live feed of event on their mobile phones ๐Ÿ™‚

Still watching Live Feed on youtube

Still watching Live Feed on youtube

Anyways, once the event triggered around 9 PM people started to move along and crowd management people allowed us to go closer. I managed to click a few devotees crossing over the fire pit. Once the devotees cross the fire pit they pay homage to Gods and head to their family members and folks in the temple.

Event starts when Pandaram (chief priest) walks across the fire with the karakam (a sacred, decorated pot)

Event starts when Pandaram (chief priest) walks across the fire with the karakam (a sacred, decorated pot)

And it begins!!

And it begins!!

A devotee posing with a sword

A devotee posing with a sword

Another devotee starts his run over red hot pit

Another devotee starts his run over red hot pit

Paying homage to Maa Draupadi after walking over the pit

Paying homage to Maa Draupadi after walking over the pit

Another devotee glad to pose for my camera

Another devotee glad to pose for my camera

Eyes full of despair?

Eyes full of despair?

Family members come to support and encourage devotees as they cross over.

Family members come to support and encourage devotees as they cross over.

Some viewers on other side of seating area!

Some viewers on other side of seating area!

Some devotees needed extra help to cross over!

Some devotees needed extra help to cross over!

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A cake walk? No way

A cake walk? No way

Another devotee posing for my camera..

Another devotee posing for my camera..

Its ain't as easy as it seems!

It ain’t as easy as it seems!

Last year, I was trying to judge the sanity of the devotees and religious beliefs. This year my thoughts have changed. This time I decided not to judge the devotees at all. Some things are better accepted as they are. As long as people are Happy and Contented in walking over the fire, who am I judge them?

Finally, a video from the event.

** Would you walk on a Fire pit in name of Faith ? **

4 thoughts on “Thimithi (Theemithi) – A Festival of walking on Fire

    1. Ankur Post author

      I am glad you liked this post Chandra. Very tough and demanding to shoot this event without a VIP pass ๐Ÿ˜‰

  1. Yogi Saraswat

    Terrible act . Last year, I was trying to judge the sanity of the devotees and religious beliefs. This year my thoughts have changed. This time I decided not to judge the devotees at all. Some things are better accepted as they are. As long as people are Happy and Contented in walking over the fire, who am I judge them? Exactly faith is faith and who we are to judge . Great post indeed

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