Klidona's custom in Athens

During the name day of Saint John Klidonas bonfires are lit in many places around Greece and people jump above them. This one happens in the center of Athens.
Photography / Text: Michael Pappas

I already knew that during the name day of Saint John Klidonas bonfires are lit in many places around Greece and people jump above them. 

Klidona's custom in Athens - Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens
Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas

Looking for a place to go, I heard that there is also a place in Athens, at the park of Plato's Academy. I took the subway to Larissa station and then walked for maybe 10 minutes to reach the park. As always, I arrived much earlier to have time to see the preparations that are usually interesting. 

Klidona's custom in Athens - Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens
Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens - Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens
Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas

Klidona's custom in Athens - Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens
Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas

I heard of the exact spot that the event was about to take place and people started to gather around. There are usually some games for children before the event starts.

Klidona's custom in Athens - Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens
Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens - Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens
Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas

At the other end of the park, some musicians were getting ready. When the sun sets and more people have gathered, there is a parade at the streets around the park. Musicians march first and people follow. They end up at the square of the park to start the bonfire.

Klidona's custom in Athens - Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens
Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens - Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens
Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas

A ritual takes place in order to start the fire. After the fire is lit, people start to jump above. Some of them are more daring and jump straight through the fire. The music keeps on playing and people dance around the fire. There are many young people and plenty of booze. 

Klidona's custom in Athens - Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens
Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens - Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens
Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas

The fire is kept going until late at night. 

You can stay and keep on dancing until the next morning!

Klidona's custom in Athens - Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens
Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas

Klidona's custom in Athens - Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens
Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens - Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
Klidona's custom in Athens
Greece. Attica. Athens. © Michael Pappas
#jumping #plato #academy #klidonas #klidon #john #saint #dionysian #bonfire #fire #pagan #religion #dance

Location

Klidona's custom in Athens

Κρατύλου 15, Αθήνα 104 42, Ελλάδα
Athens, Attica, Greece