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Betrothed couples here are nervous — but not about the wedding!

Engaged couples in a particular part of the north east of Scotland don't worry so much about the wedding flowers or the vows. They're too busy looking over their shoulder, feart of... a blackening!

In a new episode of Hidden Lives, a series which delves into lesser-known Scottish customs, Samantha Little explores an extremely mucky pre-wedding ritual popular in the north of the country.

Particularly common in Fraserburgh, Peterhead and the surrounding areas, the "blackening" is a tradition originating from an ancient custom of rubbing soot into the feet.

The aftermath of a blackening

Don't come too close! Sam Little catches up with the happy couple after their gunking.

But the modern blackening is a very different affair and can be a wild and riotous occasion.

The engaged couple are kidnapped and are ‘gunked’, by friends and family, who use all manner of disgusting substances, including fermented dog food, rotten eggs and even fish guts. The purpose of this revolting tradition?

To bring good luck, of course!

Samantha, who was blackened herself, follows two brave couples who allowed the cameras to capture every disgusting moment.

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