While waiting for the fire of Achlada to start at midnight, a custom that takes place in many villages around Florina on December 23, the guys we met there told us to go together at the next village, Giourouki, to see the fire there as well. They would start that earlier than Achlada, since that was a smaller village and most of the local people there would visit the big fire of Achlada later.
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.
On the day of Epiphany, January 6, in a village nearby Thessaloniki, called Profitis (Prophet), the custom of Arapides takes place. This is a Dionysian custom where people of the village are dressed in goat's skin, wear colorful long hats and hang large pastoral bells around their waists to scare away the Kallikantzaroi.
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