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Religious Holidays and Pilgrimages – Lourdes, Fatima, Camino de Santiago & Medjugorje

While visiting Kerala in Southern India we were invited to witness a ceremony known as Theyyam, a ritual art form, elements of which date back thousands of years. We knew little of what we were going to see, except that this was a performance with spiritual significance. The ceremony had been going on for some 20 hours by the time we tumbled out of our little minibus at 4am. We huddled together in the darkness at the edge of a field listening to the eerie sound of beating drums and high-pitched chants wondering what we’d let ourselves into. We walked through the field, ducked through some trees and emerged into a clearing dominated by a small colourful temple, before which was a large crackling bonfire. Hundreds of people surrounded the fire, men beating drums, the crowd chanting, as five men dressed only with cloths around their waists stoked the fire. Read more »