16 March 2020

Agios Georgios / Άγιος Γεώργιος

By Alex Kurunis

Agios Georgios / Άγιος Γεώργιος (St. George’s day) is an important day in the Greek Orthodox religious calendar, just after the Easter period. In this particular village of Pyli, it is celebrated with a long held tradition of racing horses through the village, for which people from all walks of life on the island come together to spectate. The village of Pyli, where some of my family live, is situated in the mountainous area of the island of Kos. While the race has been marred by criticisms across the years for the treatment of the horses and the practice of having them gallop at speed on the asphalt, the organisers insist on persisting year by year. Since 1931 during the Italian occupation, the one year when a race did not take place, when there was subsequently a devastating earthquake on the island, the organisers vowed never to stop and it persists as a tradition to this day.

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