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Ρουκετοπόλεμος Χίος



The village of Vrontados is on the Greek island of Chios. Every Easter, the town lights up with a war between two churches called Rouketopolemos (rocket war). The congregations of Agios Markos (St. Marks) and Panagia Erithiani assemble their homemade rockets on the night before Orthodox Easter and fire away until after midnight, with the aim of hitting the bell tower of the rival church. The tradition dates back to the occupation of the Ottoman Empire, but no one really knows the origins of the war. Real cannons were used until 1889. Even today, the 60 to 80 thousand rockets can do some real damage, so the churches and surrounding homes reinforce their buildings with metal plates and mesh, and man the hoses until the war dies down. There is never a "winner" declared, so the battles can be continued the next year. Despite the danger, Rouketopolemos is a tourist draw for Vrontados. The footage above is from the 2019 rocket war. It gets a little scary around 1:48. -via Laughing Squid


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I believe Chios is named as the island the British are trying to evacuate troops from in the book and movie The Guns of Navarone, their planned escape route being blocked by the titular guns.
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