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SINGAPORE – When Sivakumaran Sathappan took part in a firewalking ceremony on Sunday, it was the 28th time he took part in the Hindu ritual of walking barefoot over embers.

Unlike the previous two years, this year’s ceremony is known as Themithi as it thanks Goddess Sri Mariamman and Sri Draupadai Amman for their wishes and blessings.

Sivakumaran, 53, was one of more than 3,000 devotees who walked through the fire pits of Sri Mariamman Temple on South Bridge Road.

Apart from the lifting of restrictions, this year the 4km walk from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple on Serangoon Road to Sri Mariamman Temple has been revived, led by the deputy priest of Sri Mariamman Temple carrying a sacred vessel or karagam .

Mr. Sivakumaran, Secretary of Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple and Director General of Government Technology Agency, joined us for a walk before crossing the fire pit.

He told The Straits Times that he felt excited and happy that the ceremony had returned to what it was almost before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are able to go back to our walks and have more people chanting and praying at the temples, which is more lively,” he added.

Sivakumaran first took part in the walk when he was 21, praying for his mother, who was recovering from spinal surgery.

“I was happy that my mother was healthy, and I continued to walk the fire like every year with a feeling of gratitude,” he said. Over 3,000 Hindus attend largest fire-walking celebration since Covid-19

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