Celebrating Easter with a war of fireworks

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Celebrating Easter with a Rocket War
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Celebrating Easter with a Rocket War
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 14: Hundreds airbomb rockets are displayed in a store on the day before the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 14, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 14: Rolls of wire mesh fencing hang from scaffolding around a home on the day before the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 14, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 14: Protective fencing is seen on a home, the night before the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 14, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 14: Hundreds of fireworks and rockets are displayed in a store on the day before the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 14, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 14: Men browse some of the fireworks and rockets available on the day before the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 14, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: A stash of rockets, destined to be fired towards Aghios Marko Church from near Panaghia Erithiani Church is seen, hours before the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: Aghios Marko Church is seen hours before the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: Supporters of both the Aghios Marko Church and Panaghia Erithiani Church march through the town, hours before the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: Aghios Marko Church is seen, hours before the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: The Panaghia Erithiani Church is hit by rockets from supporters of the Aghios Marko Church during the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: The Aghios Marko Church is hit by rockets from supporters of the Panaghia Erithiani Churchduring the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: The Panaghia Erithiani Church is hit by rockets from supporters of the Aghios Marko Church during the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: The Panaghia Erithiani Church is hit by rockets from supporters of the Aghios Marko Church during the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: Rockets are fired between the Aghios Marko Church and the Panaghia Erithiani Church during the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: Rockets are fired between the Aghios Marko Church and the Panaghia Erithiani Church during the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: Supporters of the Panaghia Erithiani Church fire rockets from home-made racks at the Aghios Marko Church during the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: Supporters of the Panaghia Erithiani Church watch rockets burst over the Aghios Marko Church during the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: Supporters of the Panaghia Erithiani Church watch rockets burst over the Aghios Marko Church during the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: Rockets are fired between the Aghios Marko Church and the Panaghia Erithiani Church during the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: Rockets are fired between the Aghios Marko Church and the Panaghia Erithiani Church during the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: Supporters of the Panaghia Erithiani Church fire rockets from home-made racks at the Aghios Marko Church during the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: Supporters of the Panaghia Erithiani Church fire rockets from home-made racks at the Aghios Marko Church during the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: Supporters of the Panaghia Erithiani Church prepare to fire rockets from home-made racks at the Aghios Marko Church ahead of the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
CHIOS, GREECE - APRIL 15: Supporters of the Panaghia Erithiani Church prepare to fire rockets from home-made racks at the Aghios Marko Church ahead of the annual Rocket War, known locally as the 'Rouketopolemos', on April 15, 2017 in Chios, Greece. The event takes place at Easter in the town of Vrontados, where the congregations from two rival churches launch a 'rocket war', attempting to hit the bell tower of the opposing church with tens of thousands of home-made rockets. Homes in the area are forced to erect temporary protective fencing to prevent damage to their property while tourists come from all over the world to watch the spectacle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
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Most Americans associate fireworks with the Fourth or July, but in the town of Vrontados in Greece, fireworks go hand-in-hand with Easter.

Every Fourth of July Americans are warned of the possible dangers of operating fireworks or misusing them. Even so, there's still at least one firework-related injury that dominates the news channels each year. Thus, many will find it surprising that the Easter tradition in Greece involves shooting fireworks at a church.

The locals refer to the Easter weekend rocket extravaganza as 'Rouketopolemos.' Rival churches -- The Panaghia Erithiani Church and the Aghios Marko Church -- supporters fire tens of thousands of home-made rockets at the opposing place of worship in an attempt to hit the rival church's bell tower. No one is exactly sure of how long the fiery escapades have been going on for but it's believed that it has been going on for at least 125 years.

Homeowners in the area erect protective barriers on their properties prior to the event to prevent as much damage as possible to their property.

Tourists from all over the world converge on Vrontados to glimpse the visually stunning yet highly dangerous rocket war.

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