Chios ~ The fragrant island


Customs and traditions of Chios

Traditional festivals (panigiria) have a leading role in the cultural life of Chios island every summer, transforming the island into a celebration land, especially in August.

The custom of Agas is one of the oldest in Chios island and revives every Ash (Shrove) Monday in the central square of several villages (Mesta, Olympoi, Lithi). This tradition dates back to the Turkish occupation times, when the Turkish rulers of the Mastic villages punished local people with very heavy penalties.

Rocket war (rouketopolemos) is a local custom held every Easter at Vrontados of Chios. The two rival church congregations of Agios Markos and Panagia Erythiani launch thousands of home-made rockets, at midnight before Easter Sunday, aiming for the bell tower of the opposing church. Needless to say, all this makes for a unique show.