For many years people in Brunnepe and Kampen use churns and calcium carbide to shoot at new years eve. This tradition started in the early years of the twentieth century. In those years carbide was used widely by smiths and also as light for bicycles. This was also the time when churns were widely used by factories and farmers.
When you read old articles, it appears that the tradition started in Friesland. It became popular in Kampen around world war two. In those days it was mostly done around the Noordweg in Brunnepe. In the seventies major Van Tuinen tried to stop the tradition with use of the riot police. The results riots whoch were among the worst in the country. Since the early eighties shooting with carbide is allowed and it became very popular especially in the late eighties and early nineties. Hundered of boys moved around the town shooting carbide. Because it became harder to find churns, less people are shooting carbide since then. But still the tradition is very popular and new churns are even especially made.
I remember the loud bangs and ringing of the covers in the alley from my childhood. In those days around 1980, my dad was a lorry driver transporting churns with milk from the farmers to the factory. Since his new truck didn’t fit in the garage, it was parked in our street. In the weeks before new years eve many churns wre stolen, even a few dozen in one particular night. That’s also when I got my first own churn.
Since 2010 shooting carbide is still allowed, but there are a few rules people should follow. This is meant to keep things friendly and to keep everybody happy. A couple of days before new years eve it is allowed to shoot in the early hours of the evening. But only at one place on the Noordweg in Brunnepe. On New Years Eve it is allowed from 10 in the morgin to 2 am in the night everywhere in town.
Below you can see some photo’s from this year and last year.