The biggest holiday of the Värska Church – Saint George’s Day – is celebrated on 5 May. First, the service is held in the church, then people go to the cemetery to commemorate their ancestors, and in the afternoon they gather on the swinging ground to have a proper kirmask (village festival) there. Similarly, local church holidays are held in other Setomaa churches during the summer: the Luhamaa Church celebrates Pentecost, the most important holiday of Saatse is päätnitsapäiv (the last Friday of July), and paasapäiv (19 August) goes hand in hand with Obinitsa.
Unlike Estonia, jaanipäev or Midsummer’s Day in English, at least the so-called former jaanipäev (7 July), is a local holiday in Setomaa – it is a holiday of the Miikse Church, and it is also celebrated more widely in the village of Treski. Nowadays, Midsummer’s Day is often celebrated in the villages according to the new calendar, like Christmas.
Orthodox Christmas Day (7 January) are called talsipühad in Setomaa. This day is rather different from the Christmas customs of Estonians – there is no Christmas tree in the house, elves do not visit the children, and no presents are made or brought. Instead, they wash eyes with “silver water” (a silver bracelet is placed in an eyewash bowl) and boys visit families with lit candles inside a holder to announce the birth of Christ.