Every year on the Island of Chios, Greece, a handful of tradition-abiding citizens host ‘Rouketopolemos’, a furious firework battle that has been waged for centuries between two local parishes. For some it’s the culmination of months of preparation and a highpoint of the year, for the others, the increasing scale has forced them indoors and to cover their homes in wire mesh for protection.
“Each side fires tens of thousands of rockets from the rafters of two local churches”
“The days before the event you’re walking around this small town that's ready to blow,” says filmmaker Scott Carthy. “From New Year’s Day, groups of friends of various ages meet up and just make rockets: they have tea, with rockets; dinner, with rockets.
“The days before the event you’re walking around this small town that's ready to blow”
“Each side fires tens of thousands of rockets—all from the rafters of two local churches, and with the aim of hitting the opposite side’s church bells across a field. “Then by 7am the next morning there's hardly a rocket in sight,” Carthy explains. “Everything goes back to normal.”