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Customs and traditions of Chios island

Chios Agas custom


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

Rocket war

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.

Traditional festivals (panigiria)

Traditional festivals

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 occasion is usually a religious celebration, as each village has a saint to honor. On the day of the feast, large tables are positioned at the square of the village. The festival starts at night, drink and food are plentiful and the celebration goes on until the morning time, accompanied by traditional music by local bands.