Plough Monday

Liberty

Chief Lister
Today is Plough Monday - the traditional start of the English agricultural year, generally the first Monday after Epiphany.

It marks the start of ploughing for spring sown crops and was once the traditional day of agricultural workers returning after the Christmas period.

Customs of the day varied nationwide, but the most common feature was a plough (blessed in church the previous day) to be hauled from house to house in rural communities. As the continued, an army of villagers collected money for the parish during a passing street procession. Apart from dancers and musicians, an old woman called “the Bessy” or a boy dressed as such and a man in the role of the ‘Plough Fool’ often headed of the procession.


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