A strict ban on the fruit has been imposed by organisers of the AAM Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy on July 4 and 5.
Bananas have long been regarded by seafarers as bad luck on board boats – and festival organisers say they are not prepared to take any chances, posting ‘Ban the Bananas’ signs around the harbour.
Local businesses are in support of the imposition of a ‘Banana Amnesty’ that has even resulted in banana-flavoured ice cream being taken off the shelves!
Festival chairman Roger Goodyear explained: “We want to do everything possible to make sure our 2015 festival is a success and we don’t want to take any chances.
“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.”
Theories abound as to just why it is believed bananas are bad luck on boats – including one theory that an unfortunate lone sailor drowned after slipping on a banana skin and falling overboard (the fact that he was a loan sailor means that theory has never been proven!)
Perhaps more plausible is that back in the early days of the banana trade, crews would overload the banana boats when leaving the tropics – resulting in the boats capsizing 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
Although a banana ban is now in place, there will be plenty of tempting local produce at the festival, which will this year celebrate the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015.
Traditional wooden boats from Banffshire, Aberdeenshire, Moray and all parts of the UK will converge on the historic 17th century harbour while visitors will have the opportunity to build and restore traditional vessels, learn how to sail a coracle and watch the skiffs go head to head for the highly competitive open seas regatta.
With beautiful boats, exhilarating skiff races on the open seas, seafaring and rural craft demonstrations, music and dance and food and drink, the festival annually attracts thousands of visitors, delivering a financial boost to the area.
Mr Goodyear added: “As one of Scotland’s leading events, The AAM Scottish Traditional Boat Festival is renowned for its creative offerings and 2015 is no different.
“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.”
For more information about the Festival and to buy tickets visit www.stbfportsoy.com.