St. George's Day
St. George's Day Review
If you're lucky enough to be in Arachova for the festival on St. George's Day—April 23 (or the Monday after Easter if April 23 falls during Lent)—you're in for the time of your life. St. George, the dragon slayer, is the patron saint of Arachova, and the largest church on the top of the highest hill in town is dedicated to him. So, naturally, the festival here lasts three days and nights, starting with a procession behind the generations-old silver icon from the church, in which the villagers don the local costumes, most of them ornately embroidered silken and brocaded heirlooms that testify to the rich cultural heritage of the town. The festival is kicked off in fine form with the race of the yeroi, the old men of the town, who are astonishingly agile as they clamber up the hill above the church without so much as a gasp for air. The following days are filled with athletic contests, cooking competitions, and, at night, passionate dancing in the tavernas until long after the goats go home. Visitors are welcome to partake of a feast held outside St. George (Ayios Yiorgios) church that features Mt. Parnassus's legendary roast lamb and feta cheese and a steady flow of Arachova wine.