Miners, like all workers, used to take a morning break to have a snack and a drink. In some parts of Cornwall this was known as “crib” or “crowst”. Because miners were mostly self employed and paid for the amount of tin they mined, not the hours they worked, they could choose the length of their breaks.
To decide how long their break would be, each year on Friday in Lide they chose the youngest person in their group (often a young boy) to go to the nearest mound or hillock and fall asleep. The length of time the young person slept in that cold and uncomfortable place was used to decide the length of the break that the miners would take for that year. Tin miners had many holidays like this and a great number of special traditions. The most famous of the miners’ holidays was St Piran’s Day.