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bassen Folklore: Did cold farmers 'hibernate' in winter? (29) RE: Folklore: Did cold farmers 'hibernate' in winter? 05 Jan 11

Farmers in preindustrial Norway slept ,if anything, less in winter. Hay and other forage (leaves, moss, bark) from the outfields could only be driven home after the snow had come as horsedrawn sledges were the only means of transporting large quantitites of forage. Most farmers on the west and north coast fished in the spawning cod fisheries in Møre and Lofoten - that takes place from January to April. (open boats with only oars and sails until around 1900!). Winter was also the season for working in the forest, be it felling trees, producing charcoal and/or tar, etc. When threshing was done by hand with flails, the work would last far into the winter. Winter was also the period when women had enough time to do spinning, weaving, etc. And finally, many of the largest markets took place in the weeks before or after Christmas. The outdoor market at Røros (one of the coldest places in Norway) has for over 150 years taken place the second or third week of February, it's still going strong rørosmartnan

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