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Tamil Ceremony Of March On Fire Tour

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Must Visit City
Saint André
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You will live a moment full of emotions, in the heart of Indian culture, attending a Tamil walk on fire. Several temples welcome the faithful of the Tamil community for this ceremony. These celebrations generally . .
Country: Reunion
City: Saint André
Duration: 4 Hour(s) - 0 Minute(s)
Tour Category: Half Day Tour
Package Itinerary

You will live a moment full of emotions, in the heart of Indian culture, attending a Tamil walk on fire. Several temples welcome the faithful of the Tamil community for this ceremony. These celebrations generally begin at 6 p.m. and are open to the public with discretion and respect.

Every year, from December to February, the steps on the fire celebrate the purity of the Hindu goddess Pandialé who, to prove purity and fidelity to her husband, took the risk of walking on the fire.

There are few countries in the world with Tamil minorities to continue the tradition.

Mainly located in the north and east of the island especially in Saint-André, the Tamil community represents about 25% of the population of Reunion.

Of all the Tamil rites, the march on fire is the most spectacular. It consists in walking barefoot on embers without burning the soles of the feet; a practice illustrating the supremacy of the mind over the body.

The ritual of walking on fire is the culmination of both mental and physical preparation. This ceremony ends a period of Lent during which penitents purify themselves.

A pit, the "tikouli" to accommodate the fire, is dug long in advance. The sacred site is dotted with flower petals. The priest opens the ceremony by walking barefoot on the embers. He then marks the penitents at the forehead, with a red powder, before they cross, each in turn the blaze. Some cross it wearing a "karlon" (throne of divinities) or any other cult object or even a child.

After crossing the Tikouli, walkers cool the soles of their feet in the “milk basin” or “Palkouli” at the end of the ember pit.

By respecting the ritual, the faithful seek to prove to men and gods that they are worthy of the vow they have formulated.

The ceremony ends with the sacrifice of goats and cocks as a sign of thanks.

It is a colourful and sonorous event: traditional white costumes, orange and purple flowers, saris and percussions dress up each ceremony.

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