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Weird Websites - Weird Pictures - Molly dancing on Plough Monday

Plough Monday is an old celebration held on the first Monday after Epiphany, or Twelfth Night.

Molly dancing on Plough Monday has been an important ritual for agricultural workers in the east of England for centuries.

The day traditionally saw the resumption of work after the Christmas period. In some areas, particularly in northern England and East Anglia, a plough was hauled from house to house in a procession, collecting money (often with menace). The ploughmen were often accompanied by musicians, an old woman or a boy dressed as an old woman, called the "Bessy", and a man in the role of the "fool".

In the Isles of Scilly, locals would cross-dress and then visit their neighbours to joke about local occurrences. There would be "goose dancing" and considerable drinking and revelry.

The Plough Monday customs declined in the 19th century but have been revived in the 20th. They are now mainly associated with Molly dancing and a good example can be seen each year at Maldon in Essex

 

Children with blackened faces take part in the Plough Monday procession.

Plough Monday children Molly dancing pictures girls boys dance

Mepal Molly men dance at Mepal and Witcham Primary School on Plough Monday 2009

Mepal-Molly-men-dance-at-Mepal-and-Witcham-Primary-School-on-Plough-Monday-2009

 

Blessing the plough during the celebrations.

plough-Monday-photos

 

The straw bear an important part of the Molly Dancing and Plough Monday celebrations.

straw bear Molly dancing plough monday photos

 

In the 1500's Thomas Tusser wrote the following verse about Plough Monday:

"Good huswives, whom God hath enriched ynough,
forget not the feasts that belong to the plough:
The meaning is only to joy and to be glad,
for comfort with labour is fit to be had...
Plough Monday, nest after that twelftide is past,
bids out with the plough, the worst husband is last:
If plowman get hatchet, or whip to the skreene,
maids loseth their cocke, if no water be seen."
 

 

Molly Dancing on Plough Monday Video

 

Plough Monday Websites

Molly Dancing and the Plough

Plough Monday

 

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