Theemidhi – Fire Walking Festival and Ritual at Sri Mariamman Temple in Singapore



Theemidhi is the annual Fire Walking Ceremony at the Sri Mariamman Temple in Singapore. In 2011, the date of Fire Walking Festival and Ritual at Sri Mariamman Temple in Singapore is October 16 and 17 ( Sunday night and Monday early morning). The unique ritual dedicated to queen Draupadi of Mahabharata attracts thousands of Hindus especially Tamilians settled in Singapore, who walks over a bed of hot burning coal. Draupadi, also known as Panchali, the wife of Pandavas, is worshipped as Draupadi Amman in South India.

Legend has it that Draupadi once walked over a bed of burning coal to prove her innocence. She walked over the burning coal bed and came out unscathed. Most devotees do the fire walking as a sort of thanksgiving for the favors received by praying at the Sri Mariamman Temple. Some do it for fulfilling longstanding wishes.

The highlight of the festival is devotees young and old walking over a four meter pit of burning coal specially prepared at the Mariamman Temple. The chief priest of Sri Mariamman Temple after special prayers and pujas walks over the burning coal and he is followed by those devotees who wish to take part in the ritual.

The main ceremony begins at midnight (0100hrs) devotees take ritual bath at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple and walk up to Mariamman Temple. All the important rituals associated with Tamil festivals are part of the fire walking ceremony.

One of the most striking aspects during the Theemidhi – Fire Walking Festival – is that all devotees come out of the coal bed without any burns.
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