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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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NEVER START PLANTING ON A FRIDAY BECAUSE IT IS BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS ORIGINALLY LEARNED IN WATERTOWN, NEW YORK

Where learned: NEW YORK ; WATERTOWN

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 00-00-1940

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ON NEW YEAR'S DAY, THE FIRST TO STEP ACROSS THE PORCH MUST BE A
MALE OR YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK ALL YEAR LONG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CAMPUS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 03-00-1982

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ON HALLOWEEN, THE CHILDREN ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GO NEAR A
WINDOW BECAUSE IT IS BAD LUCK. SOMETHING EVIL WILL HAPPEN.
THIS IS PRACTICED IN INFORMANT'S HOME IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- M425
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 02-00-1982

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ON NEW YEAR'S EVE IN SPAIN, SWALLOWING ONE GRAPE ON EACH
OF THE TWELVE STROKES OF MIDNIGHT WILL BRING GOOD LUCK,
FAILING TO SWALLOW A GRAPE OR DROPPING ONE WILL BE BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: LEARNED ITEM FROM FATHER WHO FREQUENTLY TRAVELS
TO EUROPE.

Where learned: CANADA ; MONTREAL ; RECEIVED IN MAIL

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
BELIEF -- Good luck Activities
BELIEF -- Good luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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BAD LUCK

IF A PERSON SEES HIS OWN SHADOW ON A NIGHT WITH A FULL MOON,
EVIL THINGS WILL BEGIN TO HAPPEN TO HIM.

Submitter comment: HE SAID HE SAW HIS OWN SHADOW AND HE WAS ALMOST RUN DOWN BY A CAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Body parts and functions
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 12-03-1982

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NEW YEAR'S DAY BELIEF

IT IS CONSIDERED BAD LUCK FOR A WOMAN TO ENTER YOUR HOUSE
BEFORE A MAN ON NEW YEAR'S DAY. THE FIRST PERSON ENTERING
YOUR HOUSE ON NEW YEAR'S MUST NOT BE A WOMAN OR YOU WILL
HAVE BAD LUCK FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR. THIS IS SOMETHING
THAT I HEARD AS A CHILD. WE DIDN'T TAKE IT SERIOUSLY BUT
I DO KNOW OF PEOPLE WHO WILL REFUSE A WOMAN ENTRANCE ON
NEW YEAR'S DAY UNTIL A MAN ENTERS FIRST.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SEXISM

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 09-00-1982

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THE GOREY FAMILY HAVE A NEW YEAR'S EVE TRADITION.
AT MIDNIGHT THEY TAKE ALL THEIR POTS AND PANS
AND BANG THEM TOGETHER. ALL THIS IS TAKING PLACE
WHILE THE FAMILY EXITS THROUGH THE BACK DOOR
AND ENTERS THROUGH THE FRONT.

Submitter comment: THIS IS DONE TO LET THE BAD LUCK GO OUT THE BACK
DOOR, WHILE LETTING THE GOOD LUCK INTO THE FRONT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
BELIEF -- Good luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

View just this record

It is unlucky for someone who is not a Scorpio to
wear an opal.

Submitter comment: Elinor's great aunt was a Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21),
and owned a lovely opal ring. Her daughter, Nettie, wanted
the ring, but her mother cautioned her against wearing it,
as it would bring bad luck. Nettie wore the ring anyway. The
first time she wore it, she was almost hit by a car. The
second time that she wore the opal, she had a mishap,
mangling the ring beyond repair, and losing the opal. After
that, Nettie believed what her mother had told her.
Nettie told this to Elinor as a warning, because they are both
Sagittarius. Elinor also was told by one of her students,
Molly, that she had a terrible string of bad luck for a
whole week, until she gave away her opal ring.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FRASER

Keyword(s): Horoscope, proscription, advice, astrology, gems, jewelry

Subject headings: Favorites
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Metal Stone Bone Precious stone Gem
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Bad luck Jewelry (gems, rings, etc.)
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 00001960S

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Wearing opals when you are not a Scorpio is only bad
luck if you are single; if you are married they won't
harm you.

Submitter comment: Jane, a friend of Elinor's, states that wearing an opal if
you are not supposed to interferes in the finding of
a husband. She then told Elinor that she could wear
an opal if she wanted to, since she was married.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Keyword(s): horoscope, astrology, spinster, advice, reassurance, gems

James Callow Keyword(s): JEWELRY

Subject headings: Favorites
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Metal Stone Bone Precious stone Gem
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Bad luck Jewelry (gems, rings, etc.)
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 00001987ca

View just this record

If you are going to wear jewelry with opals, it is
better luck to wear an odd number of opals than an
even number.

Submitter comment: Elinor's friend, Jane, states that the ring (or other piece
of jewelry) will be stronger this way.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Sterling Heights

Keyword(s): Advice, gems

Subject headings: Favorites
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Metal Stone Bone Precious stone Gem
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Number Even number (not specific)
BELIEF -- Number Odd number (not specific)
BELIEF -- Good luck Numbers
BELIEF -- Bad luck Jewelry (gems, rings, etc.)
BELIEF -- Bad luck Numbers
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event
BELIEF -- Conversions Jewelry (gems, rings, etc.)

Date learned: 00001980S

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An opal will shine more brightly for someone who
is supposed to wear it, but will look dull, or will crack,
if the wrong person wears it. If you have Scorpio rising
in your astrological sign, that is as good as being born
under Scorpio.

Submitter comment: Annie, an acquaintance of Elinor's, complimented Elinor
on the beauty of her opal ring. When Elinor related her
misgivings about wearing the ring, Annie reassured her
that it was safe, since Scorpio was her rising sign. She
also warned her not to let anyone wear it, as the ring
might crack if that person was not born under the proper
sign.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Sterling Heights

Keyword(s): Advice, gems

Subject headings: Favorites
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Metal Stone Bone Precious stone Gem
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Bad luck Jewelry (gems, rings, etc.)
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event
BELIEF -- Conversions Jewelry (gems, rings, etc.)
BELIEF -- Conversions Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 00001980S

View just this record

IF YOU SEW ON SUNDAY, IT'S BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT WAS TOLD THIS BY HIS PENNSYLVANIA MOTHER
IN HIS CHILDHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 01-12-1967

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A HOUSEWIFE CANNOT CUT DRESS MATERIAL ON A FRIDAY.
THIS WILL BRING BAD LUCK WHEN THE DRESS IS WORN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MILFORD

James Callow Keyword(s): SEWING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 09-22-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO BRING EGGS INTO THE HOUSE AFTER
THE SUN GOES DOWN.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT BELIEVES IN THIS FROM EXPERIENCE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Animal product Egg
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 01-26-1971

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TO TAKE ASHES OUT OF THE HOUSE AFTER SUNDOWN IS
BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED IN CHILDHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Animal product Egg
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 01-26-1971

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MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT FRIDAY THE 13TH IS BAD LUCK.
BUT DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT. THE REAL DAY OF BAD LUCK
IS TUESDAY THE 17TH.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAID THAT TUESDAY THE 17TH HAS ALWAYS
BEEN UNLUCKY FOR HIM.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.17
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE DAY TUESDAY IS CONSIDERED UNLUCKY TO THE GREEK-
AMERICANS.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT ACQUIRED THIS THROUGH FAMILY TIES.

Where learned: CORRESPONDENCE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 08-00-1967

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INDIAN

TUESDAYS AND SATURDAYS ARE CONSIDERED UNLUCKY.
MARRIAGES ARE NOT PERFORMED ON THESE DAYS IN
INDIA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 03-08-1968

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