Guide of Superstitions Will Ensure Visit to Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival is ‘Plain Sailing’

Visitors to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival are being urged to observe centuries-old maritime superstitions to help ensure the event is plain sailing. Organisers have produced an online guide of dos and don’ts to visiting the event so that none of the 16,000 visitors unwittingly bring bad luck. The 19th annual festival takes place in Portsoy in the North-east of Scotland on June 23 and 24.

In days gone by, people living in coastal communities like Portsoy were deeply superstitious and a number of seafaring rules were adhered to. Many of the superstitions aimed at warding off bad luck or bringing good fortune started as tall tales or legends, and developed into tradition over time

Sailors would observe many traditions that varied from pouring wine on the deck to steering clear of red-haired people. This bizarre tradition started as it was believed that people with red hair would bring bad luck to a journey. However the bad luck could be avoided by speaking to the person before they had a chance to say anything.

Although the emphasis of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival is on maritime culture and heritage, the event has expanded over the years to reflect a wide range of associated traditional skills. There is also a hugely popular food fayre and craft tent, an extensive music programme featuring local and internationally renowned artists, and sports activities from running to coastal rowing.

The guide is available to download now on the Festival website – The website offers further information about the event and tickets can also be bought online. An adult day ticket costs £8, children aged five to 18 and concessions are £5. Adult weekend tickets are priced at £12 and children and concessions at £8. There are also family tickets available which allow entry for two adults and three children for £25 for a day ticket and £35 for a weekend.  Children under five go free and there is no charge for parking.

The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival is a key event in the Year of Creative Scotland – a partnership led by EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL, aims to put the spotlight on the country’s cultural and creative strengths.

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