January is a time of rest after a busy festive period, right? Not for us!
Those of you in the Grand Arcade on Sunday 6 January will have been treated to quite a spectacle at 1pm – but what was it all about?
The event was an exploration of an old calendar custom observed in the region and we at the Museum of Cambridge thought it would be nice to revive it. It was traditional on the first Monday after the twelve days of Christmas for ploughboys in Cambridgeshire to celebrate the start of the agricultural year by taking a day off. They would bring their ploughs around local villages and would collect money with the threat of ploughing up the front of unpaying people’s houses. The ploughboys, farmers and villagers would then Molly dance to bring in the new working year.
For our celebration, we invited local dance, arts and youth groups to participate in Molly and art workshops in the lead-up to the event. These groups, with people from all backgrounds and professions across the county, then came together on the day to take part in what was a joyful and spirited event and there was much to celebrate at the Museum’s party afterwards! It was a fantastic day for all but don’t worry if you missed out – we recorded it all so you can see what went on (below).
We’d like to thank all those who participated in the Flash Mob Molly and procession across the various stages, with a special thanks to Gordon Philips and Nicky Stockman and Lyndall Phelps who ran our Molly and art workshops respectively.
If you liked what you saw on the day, or what you have seen now, please do join a local Molly side to keep this style of social traditional dance going – and do keep a look out for future Museum of Cambridge events!