straw bears

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A Plough Monday visiting custom, confined to the Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire area, in which a boy or man was dressed in straw and led from house to house acting like a performing bear. ‘It was great fun frightening servant girls and on one occasion a girl strange to the district fainted’ (Tebbutt, 1952: 19). The custom was successfully revived in Whittlesey in 1980, and has been performed ever since.

George Frampton, Whittlesey Straw Bear (1989);Folk-Lore 20 (1909), 202–3;Tebbutt, 1952: 19.

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