Fire-Walking - Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Fire-walking is something which I have seen previously in Phuket and am always ready to watch this spectacle. The fire-walking that I chose to attend this year was at Jeng Ong Shrine - this is a very old linkThe Shrine was busy when I arrived at 7:30pm so I took the opportunity to watch the people paying their respects to the Gods.

The burning coals were extremely hot - I was hot and I was not even close... yet.

There was a group of people caring for the coals by banging a length of wood on it and dragging it along it to flatten it, 

quickly returning to their tent to douse themselves in iced water! 

On the indication of the drums from the Shrine the possessed began to leave and wait at the entrance. 

I was ushered inside by the staff and I took a place next to one of the 4 small make-shift shrines set up around the burning coals.

The scene was set - a man, I think looking after the Shrine, that I had previously seen perform the same act at Bang Neow Shrine in Phuket Town in 2013 - who is he? After performing this he returned to the possessed and took pieces of the yellow paper with the red Chinese writing on it, returned to the burning coals and thrust pieces into it?

At an appointed time the possessed began to run across the burning coals - some of the possessed were a lot faster than others but a couple really did walk and this was met by cheers from the audience.

Yes I do believe that technically this can be done but I would not personally do this - but I could imagine doing it if I was chosen.

Then a number of predetermined  people were lined up and were all asked to cross the burning coals - I do not know what this was for but it was a lot of fun BUT very hot. The person in the picture above is carrying an effigy which we usually see in the Shrines or is carried in the Tai Pans (sedan) in the parade.

NOTE: next year I really must know how I should take photographs in this low light.