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Holidays often provide the opportunity to see outlandish events or practises. Millions of people travel around the world each year to see or take part in various festivals. Pamplona attracts people for its bull running, Rio de Janeiro isn’t alone in pulling in visitors for its Mardi Gras festival, the Lantern Festival in China gets a lot of attention, and even places as small as Mousehole see an influx of tourists to see their Christmas lights. But if you were on a family holiday in Cornwall on the 17th of January, you’d have been able to pop into a whole variety of churches and seen the ceremonies being performed for Plough Sunday.

Admittedly, this isn’t a service that is unique to Cornwall, but there aren’t many places that still have an actual plough brought in for the service. At Helston-St Keverne this year, though, the local Young Farmer’s Club did exactly that.

The plough was led up the aisle, much like a bride would be, and then the ceremony began. Through the various words that are exchanged back and forth, the farmer’s respect for God and hope for a bountiful harvest is established, and the plough is blessed by the priest. It’s similar to most other religious ceremonies, and bears a bizarre amount of similarity to a wedding, with the farmer who owns the plough responding back to questions asked by the priest.

If this sort of thing sounds right up your aisle, then it’s a shame you’ve missed it this year. There were plenty of cottages in Cornwall available that you could have stayed in. Still, there’s always next year, eh?


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