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Origins of the Rocket War

It is difficult to know how and when this tradition started in Vrontados. Today there are many different versions of the story. We will tell you two of them.
The first version says that it has its origins in the 19th century, when the Ottoman occupiers confiscated the canons for fear that they would be used in a rebellion. So locals fell back on fire rockets instead. This became the traditional annual Rocket War.


The second story states that this tradition was born during the turkish occupation. People from the island were prohibited from celebrating Easter the way they used to. The Christians from the churches of San Maria and San Marco decided to have a fake war with rockets to keep the Turkish away. Indeed, the Turkish were frightened by the sudden violence. They kept a safe distance while the rockets were fired. In the meantime, the communities were able to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection in the churches.

This are two different versions that the the local people told us about during the Rocket War.