Greek Churches Fight Easter Rocket War
Goal Is To Hit Other Side’s Bell Tower
POSTED: 4:12 pm EDT April 24, 2006
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CHIOS, Greece — Thousands of homemade rockets lit up the night sky over the Greek island of Chios early Sunday during an annual rocket war between two churches.
Each year during the Greek Orthodox Easter, parishioners of two churches on the eastern Greek island become opponents.
To mark the resurrection of Christ, the two congregations fire thousands of handmade rockets at midnight across a valley at each other’s churches.
The goal is to hit the bell tower of the opposing side’s church. But what ensues is a massive spectacle of streaking lights, filling the town with clouds of smoke.
Inside the churches, the Easter Mass takes place despite the smashing of rockets against the walls.
The rocket wars date back to the early 19th century at the time of Ottoman rule.
There were no major injuries reported from this year’s war.