On January 6, the water is blessed and a cross is being cast in the sea, lake or nearby river for that purpose. Some men will dive in to catch the cross. The one who gets it will have luck in the following year.
Some of the people in the village would dress up in goat's skin and carry large pastoral bells around their waists. The idea is to look scary enough so they would be able to scare away the kallikantzaroi
The Epiphany days in the village of Volakas. From newlywed couples dancing in freezing water, to scary animal looking masquerade of pastoral bell bearers
Some women visit home to home to invite others to the feast. They go into the yards, they chase chickens, dance, eat doughnuts made by housewives to cure them, drink wine. This goes on in every house and on the streets of the village.
The clock was ticking. It was getting dark and more people were going out in the streets, dressed as carnivals, ready to have some good time. You could hear Balkan music everywhere.
Vevčani is a small village near the Ochrid lake which is the home of an interesting carnival for the New Year (Julian calendar, January 14) with pagan routes. The locals are dressed most commonly in scary costumes and make a parade around the village streets.
You can see the pain in some firewalkers' face, some others show no expression or emotion. This year, there is one girl that will participate in this custom for the first time. After two hurtful tries, she stops, but not because she was hurting as she said but because she felt sad since Saint Konstantin and Saint Helena did not help her, did not blessed her by making her capable of walking on fire.
After three and a half hours we had walked the whole village and visited every house. The koudouniarides had sung and danced all this time but i was the only one feeling tired and frozen.
During the first day of the year, in the town of Simitli in Bulgaria, the Kukeri custom takes place. A Dionysian custom from Thrace, where people are dressed in goat's skin, trying to chase away the Kallikantzaroi of Christmas.