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'Anastenaria' ritual in Langadas, Thessaloniki Prefecture, north Greece. People walk on burning coals holding the icons of St Constantine and Helen until the fire is completely put out. The 'Anastenaria' is a traditional fire-walking ritual performed in some villages of Northern Greece. The festival begins on the Eve of St Constantine and Helen's day, May 20, according to the Orthodox Christian calendar. The procession begins from the ''Konaki'', a special shrine where holy icons are placed. At the Konaki, children, men and women hold the icons of the saints, starting spinning and moaning. On the morning of the Saints' day, May 21, they gather at the Konaki and proceed to a well to be blessed with holy water. In the evening a fire is lit in an open space, and after dancing for some time in the Konaki, the 'Anastenarides' begin dancing around the fire. Then, holding the icons, they start walking on the burning coals until the fire has been completely put out.
- Dimitris Gavalas / Greece Invision
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