Last Saturday, the day of the famous Rocket War here on Chios, our friend Andrei endured extreme temperatures to uncover the starting point of this tradition. Only 20 years old, he went fearlessly into the war zone to get in contact with the local shooters. Such a great example of dedicated journalism can only come from Romania.
It was around 22 o’clock when our experienced work force succeeded in entering the critical area, the fire line of Saint Markos. Streetwise as he is, he quickly found out were to go and whom to ask. After exploring the situation he decided to approach a group of paramedics on the San Maria side. This turned out to be a clever decision in many perspectives. They didn’t only take care of possible injuries but also watched over the alcohol supply.
Warriors with wounded fingers and burning trousers flooded the spot. Other people gathered there to search in vein for cans of beer, while our reporter on the spot was drinking wine together with the Chiosians. In this hectic situation Andrei got also some explosives to throw on the road. Some locals showed him how to light fire crackers as prove of their trust. He was truly one of them. Once undercover, it was indeed a piece of cake for Andrei to investigate the story till the bottom. A mysterious girl under the protection of two Thessalonian body guards provided him with the crucial information. One of the guys had been playing football in Romania. This is what they told him.
About one hundred years ago, when the Turks invaded the island again, the people were prohibited to celebrate Easter the way they were used to. The Christians from the churches of San Maria and San Marco came up with a list to fool the Turkish. They 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.
Despite of his heroic efforts our agent supposes that they only gave him the short version of the story. On the other hand, it would have been too dangerous to insist more. Andrei hung around for a while, took some pictures and left the area when the preparations for the mass attack around midnight begun.