Plough Monday



  • The Monday after Twelfth Night (6 January), which traditionallymarked the beginning of the ploughing season. The custom of performing a play on this date is not recorded before the 18th century but probably derives from the much earlier ritual of 'speeding' the plough, i.e. dragging it around thecommunity while soliciting donations for a feast. The action of the Plough Monday play usually involves the accidental death of one of the farm workers, who is then revived. In this respect the drama seems to be related to the Christmas Mummers' Plays, in which the hero is killed in a fight only to be resurrected. see also Captain Cauf's tail.