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A devotee with his mouth covered with skewers.
A devotee wails as he begins preparations for the firewalking ceremony.

... Goddess is set on a bed of rice near the edge of the pit and a flower is placed in her hand.

The faithful gather around to silently await the signal of approval.

If the flower drops, it means the Goddess has given her blessing and the devotees will be able to walk on the hot embers without being harmed.

However, if the flower does not fall, it means that the peperations for the ceremony must be repeated.

On the day of the firewalking, large crowds gather to witness the event. For those taking part, it is the time to show they are ready to atone.

Before the firewalking the devotees are often taken to a rivers edge and their cheeks and tongues pierced with three pronged miniature forks as testimony to their devotion.

When the fire pit is levelled the head priest encourages the devotees to walk over the scorching embers, often taking the lead themselves.

There are more than 80 temples throughout Fiji where firewalking ceremonies take place.

The largest and most publicised firewalking ceremony is held annually at Suvas Howell Road temple in mid July.

The Nadi Temple will have their annual firewalking ceremony this weekend on Sunday February 12.

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