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Experience the Fiji Firewalkers of Beqa Island

Author: Maduro Dive Staff


Lately we’ve been a little Bucket-List crazed. We’re itching to find and experience the greatest dives, destinations and attractions the world has to offer.

What did we find?

One of the world’s most beautiful and mysterious wonders: the Fijian Islands and the magic of the Firewalkers.

The Legend of the Firewalkers of Beqa Island

Courtesy of Beqa Lagoon Resort

Firewalking is a beautiful and sacred Fijian ceremony that originated at Beqa Island in Sawu Village. Locals like Tuemo (who used to introduce the Firewalkers) at Beqa Lagoon Resort tell of a legend of the Fijian Firewalkers.

About 500 years ago a storyteller named Dredre (which means laugh) was looking for a gift to present to the Chief. As he was following a creek up to the waterfall he noticed an eel in the muddy waters. Dredre caught the eel and once he caught it the eel began to speak.

The eel asked him to let him go and Dredre said ‘No’

It kept pleading, offering riches to the man and still he said ‘No’

Courtesy of Beqa Lagoon Resort

Knowing he was going to die, the eel began to cry; he offered him one last gift in exchange for his life, ‘Do you want to be a Firewalker?’ the eel said.

Intrigued, Dredre finally agreed. The eel instructed him on how to set up and prepare the fire and then buried Dredre for 4 days. After the fourth day Dredre was dug up, still alive.  And he now had the ability to Firewalk.

The Priestly Clan

Today after many generations Dredre’s descendants can still Firewalk, performing for tourists in hotels like the Beqa Lagoon Resort. In fact, any man from the Priestly Clan may become a Firewalker. It is a gift that is in their blood and can neither be given nor taken away.

We are told that there are many variations to this ceremony throughout the Fijian Islands, but Tuemo tells us that since Firewalking originated on Beqa Island, their Firewalking practice is the most traditional.

Two Simple Rules

Courtesy of Beqa Lagoon Resort

Tuemo also shared that there are two very important and core rules you must follow as a Firewalker:

  1. No coconut for 4 days before the ceremony
  2. No sex for 4 days before the ceremony (bummer)

It is believed that if the men do not follow these two rules it is very likely the hot stones will burn them.

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

The men who practice today wear the traditional Fijian attire in the ceremonies. Their clothing is made of dried flax, which is thin and flammable. They wear this to show viewers that even though the fire is hot, the people and their clothing can never be burnt.

The Firewalking ceremony on Beqa Island is really something to experience first-hand. Not just viewing the act of walking on red-hot stones (which is marvelous in itself) but how these Firewalkers are unharmed – not a single burn or discomfort to these men.

You definitely couldn’t pay us enough to try that, although if you give us some Scuba Tubesocks we wouldn’t mind walking into the ocean for you.

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