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See the Fire Walkers on TravelSnapz

Celebrant prepares his thoughts

Preparing for the ordeal

Drums build the fervour

The noise of the music
and the drums rises to a crescendo.

Fire-eater excites the crowd

Most ancient cultures have some form of fire worship. The veneration of fire is one of the most primitive forms of religion. The flame itself may be the object of adoration, or it may be regarded as the earthly manisfestation of a divine being or spirit.

When a fire walking ceremony is performed at night, it can be spectacular entertainment.

The ceremony begins with dancing, flashing fire sticks, chanting and singing.

The tempo quickens....perspiration lathers the bodies of the dancers as they prepare mind and body.....

The rythm of the drums has a hypnotic effect on both the participants and the onlookers as the crescendo rises to a climax. Fire-eaters excite the crowd as they draw the flames across their bodies. And then the firewalker exposes the soles of his feet to the burning embers.

Firewalking is still performed in such places as Tahiti, Trinadad, Mauritius, the Fiji Islands, India and Japan.

The ceremony consists of the priest and other celebrants walking barefoot across large stones that have been heated upon a bed of burning fagots.

Various explanations have been given as to why the firewalkers suffer no burns or pain.

Do the celebrants have a temporary insensibility to pain or heat because of their religious ecstasy?

It is more likely that the rocks that cover the burning fagots are poor conductors of heat!

The fire walkers of Kandy are not fire cult fanatics. They are entertainers.

The "burning coals" are simply old cinders doused with a good supply of methylated spirits (not religious spirits).

Although it looks impressive, the bed of fire is really quite cold.

But don't miss it - it's spectacular!


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