Firewalking at Lagadas

Annual dancing on fire (Anastenaria) taking place in a village nearby Salonica. A very old custom and very famous in Greece. A lot of people visit from Salonica to see the event.
Photography / Text: Michael Pappas

I took the train to Salonica, where a journalist from Lagkadas was waiting for me. 

We took his car to Lagadas. I got comfy in the room booked for me and we started making strolls around Lagadas' neighborhoods. Most of the times, for my projects I arrive a day earlier than the date of the event. 

The next day at 8 a.m. we went to the house (konaki) where the firewalking (Anastenaria) would start from. It was still too early so we had coffee. We waited for a pickup truck. We would go to the farm, where the sheep that would be slayed were. These will be the dinner for the event.

Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael PappasAdult content
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Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas

I went on the truck along with the musicians. At the stable you could only hear the music playing and smell the incense. Everyone was busy with errands. 

Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael PappasAdult content
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Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas

Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas

At the way back I was accompanied by the sheep on the truck. The musicians get in the house playing and dancing begins. At the same time the animals were being slain at the side of the building.  Sheep and one calf. 

Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas

Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael PappasAdult content
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Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas

The fire walkers started gathering, until the room was full. The music takes you over. Across the building the fires are being lit and there is dancing around them. 

Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas

Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas

Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas

Lagadas is very near Salonica, so many people have arrived to see the event. 

Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas

Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas

The dancing and the music moved around the fire. The wood had already turned to coal and was ready to be spread around. 

Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas

The dancing on the burning coal commenced. 

Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas

Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas

After they finish, they move back to the house, where there are many taps to was the coal away from their feet. 

The table is set with dinner which is the best thing after a tiresome day. The food was really delicious. 

Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas  - Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
Firewalking at Lagadas
Greece. Central Macedonia. Lagadas. © Michael Pappas
#walking #coal #nirvana #trance #anastenaria #music #fire #religion #dance

Location

Firewalking at Lagadas

Λαχανά 8, Λαγκαδάς 572 00, Ελλάδα
Lagadas, Central Macedonia, Greece