STORY: Hindu devotees in the coastal town of Tiruchuli in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state walked barefoot on burning embers on Tuesday (15 May) to pray for world peace and good rains.
Unlike other fire-walking rituals in the country, this one is unique in the manner that it takes one step further by putting an overhead structure on fire as well during the ritual and as devotees walk on fire they are also showered with burning pieces of straw falling from the overhead structure.
N.Ragavan, a local resident told that they have been observing the festival for the past three decades and they were praying for world peace and good rains.
The dangerous yet full of faith, the festival was succeeded by devotees observing a month-long fast and special worship sessions. Men and women with the same enthusiasm walked on fire wearing ritualistic make-up and garlands while carrying tridents.
Firewalking has been practiced across many cultures in all parts of the world. The earliest known reference dates back to Iron Age India – c. 1200 BC. In some sects of Hinduism, firewalking is practiced as religious rituals to please deities for prosperity, health, and good rains.