On Easter 2015, Greek Reporter filmed the 200-hundred-year old custom on the Greek island of Chios where two churches engage in an unprecedented rocket war to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The parishioners of two rival churches, St. Mark’s and Panaghia Erythiani (“Red Madonna”) built on two hilltops about 400 meters away from each other, spend the evening just before Orthodox Easter Sunday firing tens of thousands of homemade rockets to the rival church— while the more pious among them attend the liturgy inside… The objective is to hit the bell tower of the church of the other side.
We spoke to locals to find out how they manufacture their small missiles and how people in the village cope with the fact that thousands of rockets will be fired possibly at their homes.
Chios residents admit that the custom is dangerous, while others say they are sick of having to repair their damaged homes. However, the tradition has been kept alive all these years and- as it seems – it will continue for many more. Watch our documentary.