Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fire step on festival

On Sunday there was a fire step on festival at my grandma’s native village Thiruvidanthai near kovalam, on ECR. It’s a yearly festival happen for 10 days on the Tamil month of Aavani (Aug-Sep). For the 10 days there would be some special festival for goddess Throwpathy Amman on each day, along with baaratham (speech on Mahabharata) and koothu (drama) in evening and nights. On this occasion, the families those could afford or traditionally following in the village, take care each day of the festival and make certain food is provided to those take part in festival.

On Friday it was our relative’s, who lives there to take care of the day and so they called us to participate in their festival. I wasn’t interested to go, but went not saying no as I like moving out and though there was none to take care of me at home. We had lunch there and elders went to temple to worship and we returned home by evening.
Fire step on festival
The last day of the festival is called 'Thei mithi thiruviza' (fire step on festival), where devotees walk on burning charcoals that spread on the floor for few feet in a rectangular shape. Those participate in this festival would go on fasting and prayer before getting down on fire.

I have seen this festival couple of times in past and it derives many people from nearby places and those native to this village. When grandma was alive she used to visit this festival often. The important festival is on the last day and they celebrate it from morning. They create three sand mounds shaped like giant and later a man dressed like goddess Throwpathy would come with a sword and strike the mounds, where pumpkins loaded with Kungumam (crimson power) are hidden. When the sword strikes the pumpkins it splashes in red and thus it indicates giant’s death, and this believed as goddess saves people from the giant.
Scattered charcoal
The people come at morning would stay at there relatives place and see the fire festival at evening. The woods gathered at the front of temple would put on fire until it becomes shatter fire charcoal and couple of men with a wood would keep scattering the fire and disperse it to make certain people walk. The devotees yet to walk on fire would tie scared threads on their wrist and gather at the Nithya Kalyana Perumal Temple tank along the ECR. They keep there foots dip in the water for sometime; so thus it would feel comfort while waking on fire.

Then the devotees walk on burning charcoals with bare foot, caring neem leaves in hands and some would even carry there small children on their shoulders. The priest standing at the end of the burning charcoals would strike them with neem leaves. Before this take place, the womens in the village would make Pongal (boiling rice) in the temple and worship god.

On Sunday mom and dad went to the fire festival and clicked these pictures.

13 comments:

Priya said...

Nice pictures and good details. I don't think I have seen it in person if I remember. Still its all in the spirit of body and mind.

Shuuro said...

good pics jeevan. nice account of the celebration. actually, it doesn't hurt if we walk fast.

exposemaximum said...

quite dangerous but I enjoy when other walk on the fire.

Anya said...

Its looks a little scary that fire ;)
Nice to read about this festival :)

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Nice pictures, but very scary indeed! I've never had the nerve to watch them in person and never will possibly!

Mythily said...

I havent seen walking in fire in reality... only in movies only...

Dawn....सेहर said...

WOW! Jeevan, this is something which I have seen in NDA - as people celebrated all festivals from all culture and I am amazed that I haven't read about it anywhere else - but you mentioned it with pictures too - awesome! I feel proud that I know something about this one :)
Kudos to your post
Cheers

Rajesh said...

Beautiful. You have covered the traditions and festival very nicely.

krystyna said...

Thank you Jeevan for sharing about this tradition.
Great photos!
In my country some people practice
walking on burning charcoals with bare foot too, but I didn't. This practice is adoptive from India.

Take care!

Babli said...

Thanks for your lovely comment. I also love beach very much. Actually the thing is that in India the population is too much and nothing is maintained properly. But if you visit any country outside India you will see how beautifully everything is maintained. Even in Townsville you will not see a piece of paper or anything lying on the road or beach. Hope Chennai beach will become much better, cleaner and greener.
I have seen this festival which takes place on ECR. You have described very nicely. Lovely and informative post.

Raghavan alias Saravanan M said...

Hi Jeevs,

How are you doing? Hope things are fine with you.

Good post with pics!

:: flyingstars :: said...

nice learning about this festival and the traditions....lovely photos too!

cyclopseven said...
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