Tomorrow Wednesday, July 30, 2014 the Vallaikappu (Bangle) ceremony will take place in the Vallaikappu Mandapam, Fifth Prakaram of Arunachaleswarar Temple. Later that night at around 11.30 p.m. preparations will begin in front of the Unnamalai Amman Temple for the Fire Walking ceremony. The Temple will be specially kept open for the function and it will be filled with crowds of pilgrims and devotees who will attend to watch the fire-walking ceremony.
At the appropriate time logs will be set alight and allowed to burn up. At about 1.00 a.m. early the next morning (Thursday, July 31, 2014) embers from the burnt logs will be spread out on the compound floor in front of the Unnamalai Amman Shrine at Arunachaleswarar Temple, which will be specially kept open for the function.
Fire walking is still a regular event in Tiruvannamalai and other South Indian towns. Usually wood or charcoal is burnt and the smouldering embers laid out onto the ground. Commonly the ceremony is held under the auspices of a Temple, and in the case of Arunachaleswarar Temple the occurrence takes place only once year at the time of Adi Pooram.
|Fire walking in a previous year at Arunachaleswarar Temple|
Many hundreds of devotees will turn up to watch the ceremony, but the fire walking itself will only be undertaken by devotees of the Divine Mother who have been observing a special sadhana over the previous 30 days (including a fast) in order to prepare themselves for the ‘test of devotion’. Those who participate are ordinary householders. In some cases devotees are given a mantra to recite during their fire walk.
Proposed schedule of Adi Pooram and Fire Walking at Arunachaleswarar Temple
Wednesday July 30, 2014
5.00 a.m. Amman Abhishekam
6.00 a.m. Alangaram
8.00 a.m. Amman from Sannadhi to Vallaikappu Mandapam
4.00 p.m. Amman in Vallaikappu and the worship of Amman by ladies
4.00 p.m. Abhishekam
6.00 p.m. Valaikappu
8.00 p.m. Amman goes around the Temple and returns to Vallaikappu Mandapam
Large Crowds will begin to build up. TEMPLE REMAINS OPEN.
11.30 p.m. (estimated time) Preparations begin for Fire Walking Ceremony.
Thursday, July 31, 2013 at approximately at 1.00 a.m. Adi Pooram Fire Walking in front of Unnamalai Shrine, Arunachaleswarar Temple
All other major Shakti shrines will have their own puja functions celebrating the auspicious day of Adi Pooram. I myself plan visiting the Rajarajeshwari Temple (on the Girivalam roadway) tomorrow evening (Wednesday July 30, 2014) to enjoy the beautiful puja that Temple has scheduled. Last year for the night of Adi Pooram Goddess Rajarajeshwari (at that Temple) was dressed in 7 saris (shown in the below photograph).
For more information about Adi Pooram and the Adi Masam season in which it occurs, please visit my posting on Arunachala Mystic at this link here.