Firewalking

You may attend this religious event during the months of January and February in Beaux-Songes, some fifteen minutes from the Villas. A very impressive ceremony marked by piety and fervour, the Thimithi (or walk on fire) forms part of the religious ceremonies of the Tamil community, in honour of the Amman goddess.

An act of faith and purification, firewalking is preceded by a vegetarian fast in order to prepare the body and mind. The ceremony begins with prayers at the elaborately decorated nearby temple; then the religious procession moves to the bed of red-hot embers. Amidst the prayers and incantations, chants and drums, the heady smell of incense, moments of jubilation, the faces are serious and concentrated while the lips whisper prayers. The men are often bare-chested, they carry offerings, the women often hold a young child in their arms. Yellow and orange are dominating colours, clearly distinguishable from the grey of embers. The priest blesses the first faithful ones who cross the bed of embers without hesitation, their faces showing nothing but intense concentration. Many of the pledges made on that day are tested by faith. A small pool of milk soothes the feet after the test and ends the ritual of purification.

A magnificent not-to-be missed ceremony if you are fortunate enough to be in Mauritius during this period.