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Fire Walking in Singapore’s Little India

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I visited the Sri Mariamman Temple in Little India for my History of Malaysia/Singapore class. I had to get there before 6am to see the devotees walk the fateful four meters of red hot coals.


Fire walking is much more than a clever stunt. It’s part of the Hindu festival Theemithi in honor of Goddess Draupadi. Theemithi has been celebrated at Sri Mariamman Temple since 1840. After weeks of penence rituals in preparation for the event, devotees subject themselves to a test of faith by walking barefoot across a pit of coals. Some walk while others run through and are somehow able to perform the task without injury. In exchange for the daring task, the Goddess Draupadi is said to grant a wish or blessing.

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