The monastery of Saint Panteleimon, near Vlasti Kozanis, celebrates its patron saint. Many pilgrims arrive to pray and at the same time the villagers climb the mountain on the back of their horses.
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 fires of Christmas is an ancient custom that is very widespread in the villages around Florina in Greece. Large bonfires are being set in central squares and each village tries to make a bigger and better fire than their neighbors.
An ancient Dionysian custom that was brought from Asia Minor by the Pontic-Greek people who came to stay in Greece following the Lausanne treaty in 1923.
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.
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.