Whittlesea Straw Bear 18.01.2020

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Andrew McCaren/LNP/Shutterstock (10529525m)
The 41st Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival is taking place this weekend. In times past when starvation bit deep the ploughmen of the area where drawn to towns like Whittlesey, They knocked on doors begging for food & disguised their shame by blackening their faces with soot. In Whittlesey it was the custom on the Tuesday following Plough Monday to dress one of the confraternity of the plough in straw and call him a Straw Bear. The bear was then taken around town to entertain the folk who on the previous day had subscribed to the rustics, a spread of beer, tobacco & beef. The bear was made to dance in front of houses & gifts of money, beer & food was expected.
41st Straw Bear Festival, Whittlesey, UK – 18 Jan 2020