The Saturday of the first week of the Great Lent is in the memory of St. Theodore Tyron the Holy Martyr. After his death the saint appeared in the dream of Archbishop Eudoxius and protected the Christians in the city from an attempt of Emperor Julian the Apostate to poison the lenten food in the city.
The horse races (kushii) take up a central place in the celebration of St. Theodore’s Day. The preparation of the horse race starts months ago. The people get up as early as at dawn, they comb and decorate their best horses with colorful threads, beads and tassels. The race track has been already measured and marked, the whole village has gathered to watch the competition. After the race, which is won by the fastest horse, there follows a festive lunch with songs and dances.