This article originally appeared on VICE Greece.
Last Saturday, modern-day Spartans honored warrior king Leonidas and his legendary fight at the Battle of Thermopylae. During that battle, which took place in August or September 480 BC, Leonidas and his tiny army (including 300 Spartans) fought the enormous Persian army and held it off for days—after which the Spartans allegedly dined in hell.
So to commemorate that battle, Spartans held a festival in Georgitsi—a village about 17 miles from the city of Sparta. The festivities included a Spartan phalanx, duels, dancers performing the traditional Pyrrhic war dance, and wrestling demonstrations. The whole festival was a perfectly kitsch celebration of the Battle of Thermopylae, but that didn't make the nu-Spartans there less proud of their ballsy forefathers.