Easter in Chios


On Easter days there is a well known to all Greece custom of Chios island,  the “rocket war” that happens at Vrontados village every Easter on the Resurrection evening. Many visitors arrive at the island to admire this spectacular “war" between the two largest parishes of Vrontados, Saint Markus and Saint Erythiani. From the time of the Ottoman possession yet, the locals hold this custom with the only difference that that time they used small guns.

Although, this day in 1889, the Ottomans forbidden the conduct in the fear of a possible uprising. Since then, this peculiar “war” is waged with hand-made rockets filled with a mixture of nitro sulfur and gunpowder and great experience and caution are demanded during the preparation. The battle between the two parishes begins early in the Easter‘s Saturday afternoon and to meet its peak later on the same night when the resurrection prayer is sang.

Goal of the two opponents is to hit the others’ church steeple. For those who will have the opportunity to experience this custom, you will be lucky enough to watch a very spectacular show with the countless fireworks flying through the air and enlighten the night sky.





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