• Short Summary

    The Mariamman (Mas Ree Yaman) temple in Singapore was astir October 19, when hundreds of devotees, and thousands of others, came to watch the annual fire-walking purification ceremony.

  • Description

    The Mariamman (Mas Ree Yaman) temple in Singapore was astir October 19, when hundreds of devotees, and thousands of others, came to watch the annual fire-walking purification ceremony.

    Attendants prepare a huge fire -20 feet long and 10 feet wide - in the temple courtyard. Two watermelons - modern replacements for offerings of goat's head, traditionally thrown into the fire in ancient times. Then the hot embers are spread out, as the devotees, who had been undergoing a self-purification fast in preparation for the fire-walking, emerge from the temple.

    An effigy of a Hindu goddess is taken in procession through the temple courtyard. Special chantings of prayers and offerings follow, as worshippers flock to the effigy.

    This self-torturing ceremony, originating in India, has been banned there, but continues to be observed among Singapore Hindus (Indians) of the same faith. First to cross the fire was an elderly priest carrying flowers and offerings to the goddess. Other followed in quick succession.

    70 devotees submitted themselves to the supreme test by walking over the hot embers, and emerged without a scratch. Some ran over the fire, but the veterans walked leisurely across. This yearly act of faith is observed as a penance, or in fulfilment of vows taken by the devotees during the past year.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA2PACTI9EO2A3C6SF9JAI1P0MI
    Media URN:
    VLVA2PACTI9EO2A3C6SF9JAI1P0MI
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    21/10/1959
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:23:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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