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Greek island Easter rocket contest

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Greek island Easter rocket contest
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Every year on the evening before Orthodox Easter, the sky above Greek island Chios lights up with hundreds of celebratory rockets fired between two rival parishes.

The traditional event is known as “rouketopolemos.”

Villagers from the rival parishes of Aghios Markos and Panagia Ereithiani create the handmade rockets in their own homes and shops.

Stavros, one of the rocket makers, explained how the event benefits the local community: “It is a great spectacle and known worldwide. It attracts many tourists and as a result this is good for the island. In coordination with all sides involved, we have managed to make it a safe event for all.”

The winning village is the one which scores the most direct hits on their rival’s church, though it is often difficult to produce an accurate tally.