Fugleskydning – Annual Birdshoot
The Birdshoot event at the Danish Club Dannebrog goes back almost as long as the Club’s history – just shy of ten years. This European tradition travelled with members of the Danish Club to Melbourne and takes place the last Saturday of February.
Members of the Danish Club dress up in shirt and collar (yes, there’s a dress code), meet for breakfastat Denmark House and travel to a nearby shooting range. Before the shooting commences, members sing the Danish national anthem. The tradition is believed to have its roots in France from where it spread throughout Europe. Popinjay, papingo or pole archery is a traditional shooting sport where artificial birds are knocked off their perches, either with archery equipment or rifles.
In Melbourne members of the Danish Club Dannebrog use rifles as was customary at bird shooting events in Denmark in the 1700 and 1800s. The event goes on all day and once the Bird King or Bird Queen are crowned, the members go back to Denmark House for some well–deserved lunch, beer, snaps and singing.
Denmark House hosts a dinner in honour of the new Bird King or Bird Queen – usually about a month or two after the event – with all members invited to join in the celebrations of this year’s King or Queen.