Peat Cutting Monday is somewhat of an odd-sounding holiday to those living outside of the Falkland Islands, but for people living in this British overseas territory that’s located in the South Atlantic Ocean, it’s a holiday that gives them a much-needed day off. On this day, islanders will spend time with their friends and loved ones doing a number of different activities.
Some islanders go fishing and others may go camping. It’s a day off for the general population, so most non-essential government offices, schools, and businesses are closed for the day. It’s a day to kick back, relax and enjoy the season.
The History Of Peat Cutting Monday
For centuries, cutting peat was an important activity for islanders on the Falkland Islands. That’s because peat was, and still is for some people, an important source of fuel for cooking and heating their homes. What is peat? This substance is an organic layer of soil that’s made of partially decomposed organic material (mainly plants) that has accumulated under oxygen deficiency, waterlogging, and high acidity. It can be found in bogs, peatlands, moors, muskegs, and mires.
In the Falkland Islands, layers of peat were sliced off with special tools in a process known as peat cutting. These cubes were then dried and used as a fuel source. The use of peat for cooking and heating the home has declined over the years because peat is not considered to be a renewable fuel source because of the amount of time it takes to regenerate peatlands.
Observing Peat Cutting Monday
Although there isn’t as much peat cutting happening on the Falkland Islands nowadays, this is still a public holiday that gives the general population a day off from work. Because the islands are located in the southern hemisphere, it’s spring in October there so it’s a good day for people to go out and enjoy nature. It’s a good day for camping, fishing, or preparing for the return of rockhopper and king penguins. This holiday is observed on the first Monday in October.