Anastenaria


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Anastenaria

May 21-23
Anastenaria is a firewalking ceremony in Greece, in the communes of Agia Eleni near Serres and of Langada near Thessalonike. Men and women, some holding red kerchiefs and some carrying icons of St. Constantine and St. Helen—in whose honor the ceremonies are held—dance barefooted on red-hot coals while folk musicians play. The custom is supposed to have originated in an ancient form of worship that was brought by travelers from Kosti in Eastern Thrace and adapted to Christian beliefs.
Firewalking has been practiced in many parts of the world and has been thought at times to ensure a good harvest and at other times to purify the participants.
CONTACTS:
Greek National Tourist Organization
645 Fifth Ave., 9th Fl.
New York, NY 10022
212-421-5777; fax: 212-826-6940
www.visitgreece.gr
SOURCES:
OxYear-1999, p. 215
References in periodicals archive ?
Le icone che danzano: transe, musica e firewalking negli Anastenaria greci all'epoca del postmoderno.
In Greece, anastenaria is an old Thracian custom whose origins appear in Southeast Thrace.
According to Schott-Billmann the adoration of Saints Constantine and Helen through the custom of anastenaria constitutes an evolution of coexistence of Mediterranean religions, the traces of which have been lost in the prehistoric era (Dance, Mysticism 93-127).
Until this moment came, the participants followed a set of repeated ritual processes for psychosomatic preparation (Papachristodoulou, "The Anastenaria 1954" 309).
Anastenaria is a form of religious worship, which combines religious ritual and psychotherapy (Danforth 63).
Firewalking and Religious Healing: The Anastenaria of Greece and the American Firewalking Movement.