The Thimithi or firewalking ceremony is a Hindu festival originating in Tamil Nadu , South India that is celebrated during the month of Aipasi in Tamil calender.The fire-walking ceremony is in honour of Draupadi Amman, who is considered the incarnation of Mariamman, and is practiced in India , Sri Lanka, Singapur,Malaysia,Mauritius and South Africa and other countries with large South Indian populations.
he tīmiti festival is celebrated in honour of Draupadi, the main character of the epic Mahabharata, who is the wife of the five Pandava brothers. In a gambling session with their cousin Duryodhana, the Pandava brothers lost their home, country and even their wife.To prove her purity she walked through a bed of fire and came out as fresh as a flower. The festival is celebrated to commemorate this event.During the period of the festival, scenes from Mahabharata are enacted by the devotees and drama troupes. A week before the fire walking they perform prayers . The grand prayer session is held to request her blessings upon the devotees and that no unpleasant incidents should happen during the festival.
The second event is a symbolic grand marriage ceremony conducted between Arjuna and Draupadi. Following this is the ritual: a simulation of the sacrifice of Hijra, which was done before the Mahabharata war to ensure success to the Pandavas.The fire pit is prepared the night before the final day and kept red hot throughout the ritual. Devotees begin their ritual as early as 4 am and the event ends before 11am. It is believed that if they are truly devoted to Draupadi they will walk through the fire unscathed.