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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 tells a story that this comes from the 19th century, when the Ottoman occupiers confiscated the canon over fear they would be used in a uprising. So locals resorted to 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 to celebrate Easter the way they were 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 could celebrate Jesus’ resurrection in the churches.

This are two different versions that the local people told us during 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 tells a story that this comes from the 19th century, when the Ottoman occupiers confiscated the canon over fear they would be used in a uprising. So locals resorted to 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 to celebrate Easter the way they were 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 could celebrate Jesus’ resurrection in the churches.

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