Surreal Experiences in Fiji
What do Raymond Burr’s holiday shack and Hindu fire walking have in common? They’ve both become surreal Fijian tourist attractions.
Who would have guessed that America’s favorite TV lawyer, Raymond Burr, would create his own Shangri-La near the foothills of the Nausori Highlands in Fiji. Known best for his role of Perry Mason, Burr was an extremely private man, building his holiday shack in the late 70s. Set on 49 acres, Burr’s former residence, which now acts as a small museum for the actor, contains a tropical garden that houses more than 2000 species of orchids. Yeah, I think it is safe to say that Burr loved orchids, but, really, who can blame him. Known as the Garden of the Sleeping Giants, the lush tropical grounds are now one of the islands most popular attractions.
If having tea at Burr’s old digs, among his cane and favorite chair, are not surreal enough for you, then maybe a good old fashion Hindu fire walking performance is what you need. While regular Fijian fire walking performances (among other customary differences, Fijian fire walkers use white hot stones, while Hindu’s use wooden embers) are held at larger resorts and the Pacific Harbor Arts Village, for a more authentic presentation, you may want to check out the annual 10-day Hindu festival that coincides with a full moon in July or August; the fire walking ceremony takes place at many of the temples around the islands.
Repeated five times over, walking over the sizzling wooden embers only takes several seconds. The idea being that if the participants have a steady focus on the divine Mother, then they shall not feel any pain. A priest oversees the preparations, which can last three to 10 days; walking the burning embers is the climax of the ceremony. Participants must endure isolation, abstain from sex and meat, and mediate to the goddess Maha Devi. Rising early and praying late, the Hindu fire walkers eat little and sleep less as they prepare for the surreal ritual.
We are always looking for off-the-wall attractions, if you have any you would like to share, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.
*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers & Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!
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