The Fire Walking Festival

I was quite disappointed not to be able to watch the actual fire walking event held at the Sri Mariamman Temple two sundays ago, blame it on procrastination and limited information I have about the event. I came just in time when the ceremony is about to begin, little did I know that it will going to be held in a constrained area inside the temple. I was not able to squeeze inside the temple because it's full of devotees and also quite hesitant to come in as I am an outsider. I know that the fire walking will only commenced after 12 midnight so I roamed around at the Marina Bay area first photo shooting the I Light Marina Bay, a lighting installations scattered within the Marina Bay area. So when I arrived at the Sri Mariamman Temple the ceremony has already started and the temple and the surrounding streets is crowded.But thanks for the live coverage mounted just outside the temple I able able to glimpse the going on inside.

The Theemithi Festival is another Hindu festival being celebrated by the local Hindus in Singapore. Also known as the Fire Walking Festival, it is a ritual dedicated to Queen Draupadi of Mahabharata who is worshipped as goddess Draupati Amman. Legend has it that she proved her fidelity and innocence to her husband by walking barefoot over burning coals. Back to present, Hindu devotees demonstrate their faith, courage, and endurance by walking through a glowing coals. Afterwards they wade through a pit of goat's milk and then stain their feet with yellow turmeric. 

Before the day of the festival, the fire walkers, a couple thousands, and solely men, have to abstain and to practice vegetarianism. On the day itself a ritual has to be perform by taking a ritual bath at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal temple, after that they start on a 4km walk to the Sri Mariamman temple at South Bridge Road where the fire walking will be held. 

The ceremony begins with the chief priest of the Sri Mariamman Temple performing special prayers, the first to cross the fire pit with a decorated pot on his head, then the fire walkers followed after that. After passing the 3 meter long fire pit they cool their feet at a pool cow's milk  at the end of the walk.

The crowd outside the temple
Devotees waiting to get inside
The long line of devotees that stretched along South Bridge road
the fire walk