Welcome to the Rocket War website, which was created to show you a yearly spectacle that takes place on the island of Chios, Greece.
This website has been created specifically to document and capture this amazing event, in which over 60,000 rockets are fired from the residents of two opposing camps to each of the other's rival churches in the parishes of Saint Mark and Virgin Mary Erethianis.
During the Rocket war, we went up the hill inside a half-built house. From there we had a tremendous view on the valley: we could see both churches and almost all the spots from where they launched the rockets.
A few minutes later, a group of Greek people joined us and one of them asked us if we were supporting the North or the South side. He told us that we had to support one team, that it was the tradition, no one can stay neutral. He and his friends were supporting the South side (the groups who were shooting at the Agios Markos church), so we decided to do the same, at least for a few minutes. We wondered why he wasn't down, with the people who were shooting rockets. He told us that it demanded too much time, energy and money.
For instance his cousin had been preparing this event from early November on and that he spent all his savings buying the materials. He also told us that it was the first time he saw so many people at the Rocket War. He was born in Chios and now works in Athens but he comes back every year to attend the Rocket War. A few years ago, only people from Chios were there but now they come from all over Greece as well as from foreign countries.
Indeed, the Rocket War tradition is an interesting one and attracts all kinds of curious people who want to understand the deeper meaning of it. Then I asked him if the churches were re-built every year, and if the householders surrounding the churches were not too angry. He said that, on the contrary, they were proud of it and that they didn't want this tradition to end. If ever their house is damaged, they are given some money from the church. Until a few weeks after Easter, people give donations to both churches and this money is used to rebuild the houses. The inhabitants are very attached to their Rocket War.