Philadelphia, PA – Father Alexandros of Evangelismos Greek Orthodox Church led his flock outside the church where the final part of Easter services took place.

“Oli mazi… Christos Anesti!”, said Father Alexandros. Parishioners joined in as colored fireworks exploded in the night sky on the field across the street from the church. A tradition brought from the island of Chios was reenacted here in northeast Philadelphia.

One of the legends the tradition is said to be founded on says that the Ottomans who were in control at the time outlawed the Greeks from firing off canon’s any longer during Easter. However, the Greeks persuaded them to allow them to celebrate Easter in another manner which continues today and has become popularized in several villages.