War of darts

The war of darts that takes place every year on Easter Sunday at the Stadium of former slaughterhouse in the port of Kalamata is one of the most impressive and noisy Easter customs of Greece .

This custom, the war of darts, as it is called, comes from the Messinian history and the heroic struggles of the inhabitants of Kalamata against the Turks. According to tradition, the Messinians used the darts to stop the cavalry of the opponents. The loud noise and clatter frightened the horses so much that they threw down their riders and left frightened and in this way we have the war of darts.

The so-called “dartpeople” are prepared all year for day of the war. They prepare the blends and the cardboard tubes that will burst on Easter Sunday. Participants are divided into groups, with names inspired by the Revolution of 1821 as Friendly Society, Rebels and others. Each group consists of 15 to 20 people and has a leader, flag bearer, bugler and banner, while many people wear traditional costumes.

Each team in war of darts is supported by … “civilian population”, relatives and friends of the participants. With the darts in hand, teams await the signal to start the firing. The competition of the teams rouses the crowd, the darts are fired and their noise reaches to the other regions.

Apart from Kalamata Messini also revives the custom of war of darts.

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