NewsEaster celebrations turn hazardous in Greece amid fireworks frenzy

Easter celebrations turn hazardous in Greece amid fireworks frenzy

A series of accidents in Greece. All because of an Easter tradition.
A series of accidents in Greece. All because of an Easter tradition.
Images source: © EPA, PAP | VASSILIS PSOMAS
3:23 PM EDT, May 5, 2024
During the night-time Easter celebrations in Greece, which stretched from Saturday to Sunday, a spate of accidents involving firecrackers and fireworks was reported. This phenomenon is not new; traditional Greek Easter customs, which include the lighting of firecrackers, often lead to unfortunate incidents, including amputations and even fatalities.

The highlight of the Greek Easter tradition is the setting off of firecrackers at midnight, signaling the announcement of Christ's resurrection by the clergy in churches. This custom frequently sparks an informal competition with fireworks between neighboring church parishioners.

As pointed out by the Greek Reporter, despite the lack of endorsement from the Greek Church and other authorities, these explosive "battles" persist annually, notably on the island of Chios.

Greek Reporter provides insights into the symbolism behind these fireworks and explosions, which are said to represent the earthquake following the resurrection of Christ. Some believe the loud noises and vibrant lights are meant to ward off evil spirits, while others see it as a unique mode of Easter celebration. Series of accidents - A 15-year-old lost fingers

As highlighted by the Greek Reporter, accidents from setting off firecrackers and fireworks are a recurring issue in Greece, often resulting in serious injuries like amputations and, sometimes, fatalities.

A series of accidents

This year, the gravity of these incidents was underscored by the injury of a 15-year-old boy in Chania, Crete, who lost his fingers due to an unexpected firecracker explosion. Moreover, in Athens, there were five instances of amputations within 24 hours related to the mishandling of fireworks.

The firecracker tradition also resonates in Cyprus. Cyprus Mail reported a series of arrests related to the possession of pyrotechnics. For instance, an 18-year-old in Limassol was apprehended after police discovered around 1,980 firecrackers in the trunk of his car.
In an alarming episode in Limassol, approximately a hundred individuals set a police car on fire and attacked police officers with firecrackers, Molotov cocktails, and stones. The crowd, brandishing Molotov cocktails, was reportedly assaulting passing vehicles with firecrackers and Molotov cocktails, prompting the police to deploy tear gas to disperse the attackers.
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