Plough Monday is the traditional start of the English agricultural year. References to Plough Monday date back to the late 15th century
Plough Monday is generally the first Monday after Twelfth Day (Epiphany), 6 January. So, those of you that started work before this day, shame on you! Call yourself an Idler or a follower of Slow? (although I am a hypocrite as I started back last week too!)
The day traditionally saw the resumption of work after the Christmas period. A plough was often hauled from house to house in a procession, collecting money. This was 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”. There would be “goose dancing” and considerable drinking and revelry.
The Plough Monday customs (like most cool old celebrations!) declined in the 19th century with the change to an industrialised society.