Friday, July 18, 2014

Sheer Courage - PhotoHunt

nails

sandals of nails - worn by a devotee during Thaipusam

PhotoHunt theme : Sheer/Nails

In multiracial, multicultural Singapore, we celebrate a number of colourful festivals throughout the year. The two annual Hindu festivals that I love to watch are Thaipusam and Thimithi fire-walking ceremony.

fire walking

Brave the burning coals through sheer willpower and courage! 

Thousands of devotees and their supporters and tourists would swarm the brightly-lit Sri Mariamman temple to witness the Thimithi fire-walking which is a form of penance or thanksgiving in honour of the goddess Sri Mariamman.

fire walking 2

Two weeks before the fire-walking, devotees would go on a vegetarian diet and fast for 2 days. The male devotees walk quickly across a platform of burning coals and immerse their feet into a pool of milk before applying turmeric powder on their feet to cool them down.


18 comments:

  1. Hi Ecl, I was blogwalking and happen to discover your blog by chance. Nice posting about Thaipusam. Being a Malaysian so far I yet to watch the Thaipusam or the Thimithi fire walking except from pictures or TV. :))
    Must make it a effort to watch it at least once in my lifetime. LOL

    Have a nice day.
    Amelia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amelia,
      It feels different when you are watching the Thaipusam procession live and joining in the festive celebrations. The fire-walking is incredible. The devotees are ordinary men and they were walking on burning coals! Got to see to believe it.

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  2. Hi ECL, yikes! I'm not sure what is less painful, the nails or the hot coals. Kudos to those who can complete them.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both are as painful..... to me. The men who complete them have very strong willpower and courage. Respect.

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  3. I've attended Thaipusam festivities but never the fire-walking! The closest I've come to that is a celebration/farewell gathering at the end of an archaeology field season when a few drunk archaeologists decided to walk over fire we had previously used to ceremonially burn some of our dirtiest clothes -- and managed to do so without hurting themselves! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go watch the fire-walking. Right in front of you, the men will walk on burning coals. When I asked some of them to let me see their soles...., no burnt marks, no blisters. Amazing. No magic show.
      There were a few accidents, but not too serious.

      Delete
  4. I know that some people love to sleep on nail beds, but nail sandals I have never seen. Must be a masochist !

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  5. Wow, how fascinating. Those sandals are wild! Thanks for sharing this.

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  6. Salute their courage ! Must be difficult~

    ReplyDelete

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