Preparation for a Journey.

Around the end of October, the mythical Sumerian Inanna (Phoenician Asht'rt; Greek Persephone/Kore), according to one cuneiform text, makes her Descent into the Underworld. It is an allegorical representation of the sowing of the corn plant (the cereals, corn/barley). The route to the Underworld is in the wake of the Plough, via the Furrow.

The Plough features extensively in the myth. One of the earliest sources featuring the plough is in a Sumerian tablet known as 'The Farmers Instructions', dating from around 1700
BCE. Later, around 700BCE, Hesiod pens his own Agrarian's Almanac, the 'Works and Days'. From ancient times the plough had attained prime importance in the cultivation of the soil. It has therefore become a central figure in the folklore of many peoples. This lore has survived to the present day, albeit in a confused and obfuscated manner.

While the ploughing is done 'when the Pleiades are setting', the lore featuring the plough takes place earlier after harvest festivities (carnival time), 'when the Pleiades are rising'. The examples from the last two centuries appear confused but the same elements can be made out; where the plough is an essential element.

Examples where the plough is a central feature:
Thrace (RM Dawkins: carnival of 1906), parodying the making of a plough, and ploughing and sowing;
UK as 'Plough Monday' where a plough is hauled from around the town. William Hone (1777) records aspect of parody similar to Thrace carnical. It is being reintroduced in Durham.
In Greek Nedousa, as recorded by Hesiod, the plough will plough three times in the village square, while disguised actor pretend to seed.
Croatia where two actors are yoked and drag a plough behind them. They plough a furrow in the middle of the village to ensure next year's fertility.
Surva carnival in Pernik
Bulgaria: Two dressed actors yoked to plough also feature.


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