Dancing the night away

PUBLISHED: 13:01 13 January 2006 | UPDATED: 21:37 28 May 2010

Fun was had by everyone

Fun was had by everyone

MOLLY dancers kept the ancient rural festival of Plow Monday alive this week when they danced the night away at two Chatteris pubs. Mepal Molly Men spent the day dancing at Fenland schools, and then in the evening kicked up a storm at The Honest John and

MOLLY dancers kept the ancient rural festival of Plow Monday alive this week when they danced the night away at two Chatteris pubs.Mepal Molly Men spent the day dancing at Fenland schools, and then in the evening kicked up a storm at The Honest John and Walk The Dog pubs.At The Walk the Dog they were treated to supper by licensees Colin and Dee Chalk, after their performance outside the pub.The first Monday after Twelfth Night is a folk tradition which has been observed as Plow Monday since the early 19th century.On that date in East Anglia, men in small villages would dress up in outrageous ways, some of them as women. They would smear their faces with charcoal and go from house to house taking a plow (plough) along with them, and at each house they would do a dance. Once the ploughmen finished offering songs and dances, they would demand payment from the homeowner.They would then expect to be served beer, food or money. Refusal meant they would plough up the homeowner's yard.

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