Bananas are bad luck for Scottish boating festival

A Scottish town banned bananas in preparation for its boat festival.
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A Scottish town banned bananas in preparation for its boat festival.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Portsoy, Scotland, decided to ban the fruit in a bid to ward off potential misfortune ahead of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival on July 4 and 5, as superstitious seafarers regard bananas as bad luck on boats, according to The (Scotland) Herald.

Banana ban signs are posted across the town and an amnesty was introduced with businesses supporting the decision.

Portsoy ice cream even removed the banana-flavored ices from its range until after the event.

"Bananas may be a delicious fruit, but they are considered bad luck on boats,” Roger Goodyear, chairman of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, told the paper.

"We want to do everything possible to make sure our 2015 festival is a success and we don't want to take any chances,” he said. “Our ban on bananas is a tongue-in-cheek nod to our seafaring heritage and is a reminder that the ocean can be a mystical, but dangerous place and, as such, there are many traditional superstitions among fisher people."

There are several theories about why people believe bananas are bad luck for a boat. One is that in the early days of the banana trade, crews would overload banana boats when they left the tropics and the boats would capsize in bad weather.

Another is that wooden sailing boats involved in the Caribbean trade of the 1700s had to move so quickly to deliver bananas before they spoiled that the crew had a hard job catching fish. It's also suggested that bananas harbored dangerous spiders whose bite could be painful or even fatal.

"As one of Scotland's leading events, The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival is renowned for its creative offerings, and 2015 is no different,” Goodyear said.

“As the festival attracts more historic vessels, craft exhibitors, artists, performers and musicians than ever before, visitors will be involved, inspired and engaged throughout. From toe-tapping folk music and unique handmade products to delicious fresh smoked kippers and seasonal treats, there will be something for the whole family to enjoy."

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