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Banffshire Coast News

Maritime Traditions at Scottish Traditional Boat Festival

Visitors to this month's Scottish Traditional Boat Festival are being urged to observe centuries-old maritime traditions.  Organisers have produced a tongue-in-cheek guide of do's and don'ts for those visiting Portsoy for its 19th annual show.  The list is based on superstitions which were held by seafaring communities in the north-east.  Many of the beliefs, aimed at warding off bad luck or bringing good fortune, began as tall tales or legends.  Sailors observed a variety of traditions, including pouring wine on the deck and avoiding red-headed people.  It was believed men with red hair would bring bad luck on a journey, but this could be avoided by speaking to the person before they had the chance to say anything first.  Sailors were warned to not throw stones into the seas as it would be seen as disrespectful and result in retaliation such as giant waves and storms.  Women were also advised not to board any ships, as it was commonly believed women had no place at sea. 

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