Scottish Traditional Boat Festival 2016 Welcomes The Vikings

Portsoy Scottish Traditional Boat Festival will be held on 25 and 26 June 2016. Portsoy (Scottish Gaelic: Port Saoidh) is a village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The Festival promises a weekend that celebrates Scotland's rich cultural heritage. Events around Portsoy harbour and town include historic craft, rowing, sailing, crafts, music, song and dance and traditional Scottish food and drink. 

Portsoy "Old" Harbour dates to the 17th century and is the oldest on the Moray Firth. With the expansion of the herring fishery a "New" Harbour was built in 1825. The Moray Firth (Scottish Gaelic: An Cuan Moireach, Linne Mhoireibh or Caolas Mhoireibh) is an inlet or firth of the North Sea, and is the largest firth in Scotland. It is to the north and east of Inverness.

This year the Festival is welcoming the Up Helly Jarl Squad from Sheltand dressed up as Vikings. This is a visit that will seek to mend old hostilities. In the 11th century a fierce battle took place between the Norsemen of King Malcolm II and natives of the north-east of Scotland. Casualties on both sides were very high and a peace treaty was signed, including the terms that the Vikings had to evacuate the North East of Scotland. The legislation banning the Vikings is said never to have been repealed. 

Viking interventions around the coats of Scotland began in the 8th century AD. The Islands of Scotland and the Isle of Man formed the Northern and Southern Isles. The Northern Isles of Shetland and Orkney were known to the Norse as Norðreyjar. The Southern Isles forming the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles (sometimes known as The Kingdom of the Isles) consisting of the Hebrides, the islands in the Firth of Clyde and the Isle of Man were known as Suðreyjar. 

The Norse-Gael Kings at that time had a strong allegiance to Norway. King Hákon Hákonarson of Norway (1204 to 1263) sought to defend the lands against the expanding power of Scotland. It was not until the 2nd July 1266 when the Treaty of Perth was agreed that conflict between Norway and Scotland came to an end. Under the treaty Scotland was given sovereignty of the Hebrides and Isle of Man upon agreement of payment to Norway. At the same time Scotland recognised Norwegian sovereignty over Shetland and Orkney. The islands only became part of the Kingdom of Scotland in 1471. Norwegian law was not abolished in Shetland until 1611. 


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