The celebration begins on the day before the Epiphany, when the whole village process to the near-by monastery to take the icon of the Virgin Mary. The procession continues to the village church where the icon is placed and after vesper tine, the women stay awake all night by its side. On the Epiphany, all men of the village, especially the young ones, are given an icon to take home.
On the day of the Epiphany, as soon as the divine Liturgy is over, the priest hands over all moblile icons to the men of the village, who run around the village and chapels shouting ‘ntagka, ntagka, Kyrie Eleisa’ , ‘ntagka’ being the sound the church bells make, and ‘Kyrie eleisa’ means ‘Lord have mercy on us’.
The villagers believe that the purpose of this custom is to transfer some of the holiness of the icons to the village, so that the people are protected from the flagitious pagans and the eulogy of the icons can enter the homes. The custom is carried out come rain or shine and in the case of Evros come rain or snow. The snow is usually knee deep at this time of year, but it doesn’t seem to bother the villagers who carry on dancing in the square until late in the afternoon.