Service Engineer Michael H. prepares for marriage with traditional Flanders “Schieting”

The “Schieting”, or Shooting in English, occurs a few days before a couple is to be married. Several guns are put near the house of the bride and family and friends are invited to attend. These guns have several holes which are filled with a powder mixture. Pins are placed through the holes and when the pins are hit with a hammer the powder mixture explodes. Once the shooting is finished, a heart is prepared on the ground containing the initials of the bride and groom. Together they light the powder and the heart burns bright for everyone to see.

This unique event descends from old superstitions. The act of shooting dates back to Asia after the time of the crusades. The eve before marriage, the groom-to-be had to shoot bottles off the chimney to make place for the stork to land, a sign of fertility. The loud noise of the guns is said to scare off evil spirits ensuring a healthy marriage.

In Flanders, the superstitions are less significant and the event is more an opportunity for the couple to drink with family and friends.


 Prepartion of the guns


Michael takes swing


Michael and Nathalie serve the drinks


Family and friends watch the action


More drinking…


The grand finale!


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