The Rocket War – A Greek Easter Tradition (VIDEO)

Rouketopolemos translated means ‘rocket war’.  Rouketopolemos is an annual Easter tradition in the Greek Isle of Chios dating back to the 18th century.  On the midnight prior to Easter two rival church congregations in the town of  Vrontados load up with over 50,000 handmade fireworks and launch them at one another while each hold midnight service.  The objective is to hit each others bell towers – the winner is calculated the next day by counting the burn marks on the churches structure.  The exact origin of the tradition is unclear, but it is known to have dated back to the Ottoman Empire where it was said to be first preformed with real cannons.