The Thimithi festival in Tamil Nadu is celebrated in honor of Draupadi, the main character of the epic Mahabharata. Draupadi was the wife of Five Pandava brothers who, in a gambling session with their cousin Duryodhana, lost their home, country and even their wife Draupadi!
Duryodhana wanted to further disgrace the Pandava brothers and so he requested his younger brother Dushasana to strip Draupadi in front of the whole court. Draupadi however was saved by Lord Krishna and at that moment Draupadi took a vow to only comb her hair after smearing Dushasana’s blood on it and using his femur as a comb!
After the great fight of Mahabharata took place where Bhim fulfilled her vow by killing Dushasana, she had to walk through a bed of fire to prove her purity. It is said that she came out of the fire as fresh as a flower.
The festival is celebrated to commemorate this event and worship Draupadi. The fire walking ceremony is practiced in Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, Réunion, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka and other countries with large South Indian population.
Here’s a video of the same,
Title image: captureasia