The world is full of those who believe their fireworks are the best on the planet. Without exception, Americans, Chinese, Japanese, and more recently a number of major cities in the Middle East, most notably in Dubai, are convinced their annual fireworks displays are not only the best on earth but the greatest in history.
Not So Fast
If you’ve never seen the fireworks that take place around Easter on the Island of Chios in Greece, you haven’t seen it all. The “Rocket War” dates back to the 18th century, when the island was occupied by the Ottoman Empire and two villages just 1,312 feet (400m) from each other, attempt to hit each other’s church bell steeples with rockets.
Meantime, residents of the island have Mass inside the churches. The event draws a large number of tourists and, like the Running of the Bulls in Spain, sometimes ends in tragedy with rocket builders blowing fingers off and even losing their lives. Buildings on the island are covered with wire mesh, but given the huge amount of gunpowder, sometimes fires occur.
The following is a video of the Firework War!
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References and related content:
- Athens Now: Easter and the Rocket War of Vrontados, Chios -video
- Chios – Unusual Attractions & Day Trips
- A firework war? You genuinely wont believe this islands explosive religious tradition