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Devotees complete fire-walking ritual

Devotees complete fire-walking ritual
A devotee with ritual needles. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga
August 21
10:22 2017

Hindu devotees in Suva concluded 10 days of fasting yesterday with their annual fire-walking ceremony at the Howell Road Mariamman Sangam Temple.

A strong crowd of about 500 people gathered at the temple to watch the devotees walk on hot charcoal singing praises to the goddess Mariamman, originally a South Indian practice.

Men dressed in yellow, with sharp objects piercing their faces, danced through Suva from Nasese to the temple at Howell Road accompanied by a police escort and followers.

Bystanders from various ethnic groups watched at the temple as the men continued their rituals late into the afternoon.

TSI Sangam Suva President Ravin Swamy said some devotees fasted for as many as 40 days in preparation for the walk
He said this was a sign of dedication and discipline among the devotees.

Mr Swamy was encouraged by the crowd turn-out at the ceremony.

“Fiji is a multiracial country. It’s good to see people of all races come to witness the fire-walking event,” he said.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika
Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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