Bonfires are lit on New Year's Eve to welcome the New Year. An ancient Pagan (Dionysian) custom on the shore of a beautiful, serene and at the same time surreal small village.
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.
Children gathered wood and straw balls, they would like to make the fire as big as possible. The biggest of course is always the one in the town of Florina, but them, they want at least to have a bigger fire than the one of the neighboring village of Yiourouki.
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.
An annual pagan custom takes place at the Town of Amfissa. The night of the sprites, takes place on the Saturday just before Ash Monday. A custom that can be combined with flour wars of Galaxidi, taking place on Ash Monday.