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Fire Walking Festivals 2019

Hindu feel no pain walking barefoot across hot embers or coals because they know that it is the only way to cleanse one's self of physical and spiritual impurities

Fire Walking Festivals in Fiji - Best Time
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© Stephen Fagg

37% of Fiji's population are Hindus, and Indian holidays are always celebrated with great scale. Still, one of the best Indian fire-walking ceremonies is observed at the South Indian Fire-walking Festival that takes place at Suva Point, around July or August.

Locals in clad in yellow first bathe in the sea and then make the barefoot fire-walk across hot embers or coals. There is a tradition to pierce the tongues, cheeks, and bodies of the participants with skewers and cover their faces with yellow turmeric. It's a sign of prosperity and a powerful totem over disease, made by Hindu priests. From the main holiday venue, the Mariamma Temple, devotees go dancing to the place where they will do the fire-walking. There, they cross a bed of hot ash or coals, feeling no pain. It symbolizes self-sacrifice and devotion. In this way, the participants are cleansed of physical and spiritual impurities. Before this event they adhere to the ascetic lifestyle for 10 days: they abstain from sex and eating meat, and meditate all the time to worship the goddess Maha Devi.

Another famous location to watch fire-walking ceremony is south of Nadi at the Malolo Temple—the devotees would walk across a pit of burning wood embers. It's held annually in April.

In fact, the tradition of fire-walking originated in Beqa Island, and today such extraordinary festivals are held in different Fiji's, particularly along the Coral Coast, between April and September, during the full moon. Wherever and whenever you stay, you should simply check out for any Hindu fire-walking performance running during your dates.

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