NATION

Observe Religious Traditions, Young Devotees Urged

After 21 days of fasting and prayers, more than 40 devotees strode across burning embers amid drumming and chanting.
05 Aug 2019 11:54
Observe Religious Traditions, Young Devotees Urged
A young devotee was part of the firewalking ceremony at at the TISI Sangam Mariamman temple in Naitata, Navua, on August 4, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Young devotees of the Hindu faith have been reminded of the importance of observing traditions, immersing themselves in worship and attending prayers daily.

The reminder came as more than 1000 Hindu devotees converged at the TISI Sangam Mariamman temple at Naitata, Navua, yesterday for the annual fire-walking ceremony.

After 21 days of fasting and prayers, more than 40 devotees strode across burning embers amid drumming and chanting.

For high priest Niranjan Prasad, the event marks 45 years of participating in this much-celebrated tradition.

“I started fire-walking when I was 20 years old and since then I have walked every year for the past 44 years,” Mr Prasad said.

He said it was people’s belief that made it possible for them to walk on the burning embers.

“For some people if they are sick or if they are having problems, they fast and pray and it is that faith and belief that takes them through,” he said.

“For others this is another way of devotion.”

Devotees at the annual firewalking ceremony at the TISI Sangam Mariamman temple in Naitata, Navua, on August 4, 2019.  Photo: Simione Haravanua

Devotees at the annual firewalking ceremony at the TISI Sangam Mariamman temple in Naitata, Navua, on August 4, 2019.
Photo: Simione Haravanua

Mr Prasad said the fire-walking ceremony was a special tradition that has been passed down from the Girmitiya and observing it every year was a way of celebrating and preserving culture.

“Children as young as four years participated,” he said.

His 14-year-old grandson Niklesh Prasad also walked this year and he dressed as Goddess Kali during the pooja (prayer) ceremony.

“We make it a point to teach young people about the importance of this tradition and I am so proud that a lot of youths get involved in this every year,” Mr Prasad said.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: neelam.prasad@fijisun.com.fj



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