Tradition and North Are Not an Indispensable Part of Sailors

The Maritime traditions are an integral part of the culture of sailors. The word ‘tradition’ is usually translated from the Latin (‘traditio’) as ‘transmission’ or ‘tradition’. Knowing this interpretation, we can speculate that the traditions have largely helped to organize life on the ship and maintain discipline. As example, an old custom, existing to this day that officers have to take a seat at the table by seniority, according to rank, each of them. The senior officer manages the wardroom and supervises in the officer ranks.

In a centuries-old tradition of Navy regulations States: “the Primate face in the mess is the XO of the ship, and in his absence, the senior of those present in it. In those cases, when in the wardroom are the commander or his direct superiors, the leading position goes to him.” The observance of the traditions taught not only the sailors but also the ability to honor the superiors of the people, as well as his teammates.

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So for example, the ship always given the superiority of the right side of the ship on the left. (Except Portuguese fleet) due to the fact that the Cape horn and Magellan was first crawled from East to West, that is, starboard. In Portugal also recognize the honorable side, as the left. This is all due to the fact that their famous Explorer Vasco de Gama first rounded the Cape of Good Hope, going from West to East, i.e. from the left side. In addition, there is the tradition of paying homage to the ship.

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In addition to traditions on the ship have always existed in various superstitions. Many believe that the cause of them is that sailors have long watched for a variety of phenomena, many of which do not respond then the scientific substantiation. For example, the sea has always been possible to meet such mysterious natural phenomena as St. Elmo’s fire, hurricane winds, storms and so on. Therefore there were different stories, tips who were able to interpret these phenomena. These stories, passed on from mouth to mouth, each time becoming more children and the facts, when a narrator has been added to your novelty. And in the end of history transformed into some ‘sea stories’, where it was difficult to distinguish the truth from the fiction.

Most of these superstitions have already been lost, but there are still those that people adhere to. For example, in the UK there are people who to this day believe that to go to sea on Friday, especially the number thirteen, unimaginable, and out must be moved. All this is due to the fact that in this day of the week, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.At the end of the eighteenth century, this sign was so widespread that the British government decided to prove its absurdity. It was decided to build a ship called ‘Friday’, which was built and set sail, on that day of the week. But by coincidence, the ship together with the crew disappeared without a trace. But not in all countries this day of the week is attributed to an unlucky day. So, in Portugal and Spain, this day is considered the most prosperous for sailing. All this is due to the fact that on this day Christopher Columbus went on his first voyage, during which they discovered America. As for Russia, an unfavorable day for launching the vessel was considered – Monday, although the 13th day was also not held in high esteem.

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Tradition and North Are Not an Indispensable Part of Sailors. (2022, Jan 10). Retrieved from

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