This festival is one of the largest cultural events of Lesvos and lasts for about 4 days. Its origin lies in the 17th century AD and takes palce in the village of Agia Paraskevi and in Mandamados. Important point in both festivals is the existence of a Bull and more specifically its sacrifice, as well as the horse that always has a significant position in Lesvian festivals.
The horses’ masters adorn them with ornaments, while there are also horse races taking place during the event. What makes a difference from the other festivals is the sacrifice of an animal. This is a characteristic revived from the ancient ceremonies about the rebirth of nature and people and has been incorporated into the local traditions.
Taurus's festival in Agia Paraskevi
The festival takes place at the chapel of Saint Charalampos, located in a mountainous site calles “Tauros” , in honor of the Saint who is patron of the pairs and at some point it is transferred to the village square and the tradition cafes of the area. The attendees gave a lot of fun under the sounds of local bands’ music.
Even if the celebration of Saint Charalambos's anniversary is on the 10th of February, this festival takes place in spring, usually the last days of May. Apart from the animal sacrifice, a special dish called “Kiskek”, is prepared in large amounts and offered to the attendees. Once you are there you can watch horse races, stunts made on horses and of course traditional dances and music. The organization of this festival since 1915 is made by the local Agricultural Club.
The celebration of Saint Charalampos’s anniversary is also turned into a festival in many nearby village as well.
Taurus's festival inTaxiarches of Mandamados (Archangels)
The festival of Taxiarches takes place on a Sunday 15 days after Easter at the monastery near Mandamados. It combines the ritual of the Taurus sacrifice, just like in Agia Paraskevi, with the cooking of “Kiskek”. Here you can see many vendors showing of and selling their merchandise, a traditional way of trading that used to play a major part in the economic and social reality of the area.