Theemithi – Firewalking Festival
Once a year devotees walk barefoot on burning charcoal to mark Theemithi in Singapore…
The annual Theemithi Festival, also known as the Firewalking Festival, is a significant religious event for Hindus in Singapore. Ceremonies and events relating to the festival and the sacred crossing of a firepit take place at Sri Mariamman Temple. It is the oldest and largest Hindu temple in Singapore, and has been the venue for Theemithi since 1840.
Built in 1827, Sri Mariamman Temple, commonly referred to as Mariamman Kovil, is dedicated to the goddess Mariamman, known for her power in curing epidemic illnesses and diseases. Now a national monument, the temple’s ornamental gopuram, or entrance tower, has been a landmark to generations of Hindu worshippers. The temple was a significant venue for community activities during the colonial era, as it was the only temple authorised to solemnise Hindu marriages. It even served as the Registry of Marriages for Hindus during that period.
Theemithi is usually held a week before Deepavali, or Diwali, in October or November as a form of penance or thanksgiving in honour of the Hindu goddess Sri Drowpathai Amman.
The festival is attended by hundreds of worshippers and is a definite reason to visit Singapore during this time!
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