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  • The first Friday in March is so called from lide, Anglo-Saxon for March. This day is marked by a seriocomic custom of sending a young lad on the highest mound or hillock of the work, and allowing him to sleep there as long as he can, the length of his siesta being the measure of the afternoon nap for the tinners throughout the ensuing twelve months. The weather which usually characterizes Friday in Lide is, it scarcely need be said, not very conducive to prolonged sleep.

    In Saxon times, labourers were generally allowed their mid-day sleep, and it has been observed that it is even now permitted to husbandmen in some parts of East Cornwall during a stated portion of the year. Thomas Browne appears to allude to this practice in Devonshire . . . :

    Whose pleasing noates the tyred swain have made

    To steale a nap at noontide in the shade.

    --Rev. T.F. Thiselton-Dyer's British Popular Customs, 1876

    January 15, 2018