Messidor Day 10: The Sickle

Hammer and sickle

Messidor is the month of the Harvest. And you don’t have much of a harvest if the crop just stays in the ground, so day 10 brings us la faucille – the sickle.

The sickle is a pretty iconic tool. It’s so synonymous with agriculture that it has long been used by revolutionary movements as a symbol of the power of the peasantry.

It’s been in use since before the Neolithic. The discovery of sickles is one of the pieces of evidence we have for the beginnings of agriculture.

They’re also one of the earliest serrated tools; the “teeth” in early examples were pieces of sharp flint set in a bone or wooden blade.

Pliny mentions druids in Gaul using a golden sickle to harvest mistletoe as part of a fertility rite. Whether true or not, this image has stuck as the popular idea of a druid. Helped along, no doubt, by the most famous Gaul of ’em all, Asterix!

• Month: Messidor, month of the Harvest

• Day: Décadi, the tenth day of the (decimal, ten-day) week (weekend already!)

• Named for: Faucille, the Sickle.

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