Act of devotion

Sri Mariamman Temple's chief priest K. Swaminathan walking across burning charcoal with the Karagam, a sacred vessel, over his head during the annual fire-walking festival at the temple in Chinatown yesterday.

Close to 4,000 male devotees walked barefoot across a bed of burning charcoal and then stepped into a pit of milk, in observation of the Theemithi, or fire-walking festival.

The annual affair, usually held a week before Deepavali, was attended by 1,500 public observers. The ritual is a form of penance in honour of Hindu goddess Sri Drowpathai Amman.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2017, with the headline 'Act of devotion'. Print Edition | Subscribe