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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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(A CHRISTMAS CUSTOM)

IN POLAND, THEY PUT STRAW UNDER THE TABLE AT CHRISTMAS TIME
TO SYMBOLIZE THE NATIVITY.

Submitter comment:

TOLD BY GRANDFATHER

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; HOLDEN HALL ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; holiday ; POLAND ; Table Setting ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Table setting and clearing
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw

Date learned: 10-00-1967

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(AN EMPTY SEAT)

AT CHRISTMAS TIME, THE FAMILY LEAVES AN EMPTY SEAT AT THE TABLE.
THIS SEAT IS SAVED FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS DIED.

Submitter comment:

TOLD BY UNCLE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; HOLDEN HALL ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; holiday ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Table setting and clearing
BELIEF -- Number Emptiness, nothingness, zero

Date learned: 10-00-1967

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CUSTOM-POLISH

IN POLISH FAMILIES AROUND XMAS TIME (CHRISTMAS TIME) IT IS
CUSTOMARY TO TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF EVERY TYPE OF DISH, AND NOT TO
JUST EAT ONE OR A COUPLE OF THINGS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [F500] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; DEARBORN HEIGHTS, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; FOOD ; FOOD CUSTOM ; holiday ; POLAND ; POLISH ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Menus

Date learned: NOT RECORDED

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EVIL AVERTING CUSTOM

"AT CHRISTMAS TIME, IT IS A CUSTOM IN GERMANY TO HAVE DUCK AND
SAUERKRAUT, SOME STOLLEN--WHICH IS A FRUIT AND NUT COFFEE CAKE, AND
SOME BEER TO DRINK WHILE SONGS ARE SUNG. WHEN YOU DO THIS,
YOUR FAMILY WILL HAVE GOOD HEALTH AND HAPPINESS ALL YEAR."

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; DRINK ; EVIL ; FOOD ; FOOD CUSTOM ; GERMAN ; Germany ; holiday ; LUCK ; LUCK ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Menus

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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CHRISTMAS COFFEECAKE

THERE IS A GERMAN COFFEECAKE MADE EVERY YEAR AT THE CHRISTMAS
SEASON. IT IS CALLED KRANTZ WHICH MEANS "WREATH". IT IS SHAPED
LIKE A WREATH, WITH THE DOUGH TWISTED TOGETHER.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OAKLAND UNIVERSITY

Keyword(s): Cake ; CHRISTMAS ; Coffee ; CUSTOM ; ETHNIC ; FOOD ; GERMAN ; holiday ; tradition ; Wreath

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Pastry

Date learned: NOT RECORDED

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"XMAS (CHRISTMAS) BREAD"

ON CHRISTMAS YOU MAKE A LOAF OF BREAD WITH A COIN IN IT, THE
PERSON WHO GETS THE PIECE OF BREAD WITH THE COIN IN IT HAS
LUCK FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BREAD ; CHRISTMAS ; COIN ; CUSTOM ; FOOD ; holiday ; LUCK ; MONEY ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Predictions
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Pastry

Date learned: 11-17-1969

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

MOST ARMENIAN FAMILIES HAVE MANY DIFFERENT PASTRIES IN THEIR
HOMES DURING CHRISTMAS. THESE PASTRIES INCLUDE BAKLAVA (A HONEY
AND NUT PASTRY) AND A WHITE COOKIE WITH FLOUR OVER IT.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT HAS SEEN THESE FOODS IN ARMENIAN HOMES TODAY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Armenian ; Baklava ; CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; ETHNIC ; FOOD ; holiday ; PASTRY ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Pastry

Date learned: 11-01-1971

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CRAVAY

CRAVAY IS A ROUND, DOUGHNUT LIKE BREAD WHICH IS TRADITIONALLY
GIVEN AROUND CHRISTMAS IN BULGARIA TO THE CHRISTMAS CAROLLERS.
THIS IS GIVEN BY THE VILLAGERS IN APPRECIATION OF THE CAROLLERS'
SONGS.

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT SAID THAT THE TRADITIONAL CAROLS WERE A COMBINATION
OF FOLK SONG--BLESSINGS, MEANT TO BLESS A HOUSE OR PEOPLE WITH
A MESSAGE OF PROPERITY (PROSPERITY).

Data entry tech comment:

COLLECTOR'S PUNCTUATION CORRECTED BY KEYPUNCHER.

Updated by TRD

Where learned: DETROIT

Keyword(s): Bulgaria ; Carolers ; CHRISTMAS ; Cravay ; CUSTOM ; FOOD ; holiday ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Pastry
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Songs, caroling

Date learned: 03-21-1970

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FESTIVAL

MANY HOUSEHOLDS, INCLUDING OURS, KEEP FRUIT CAKE ON HAND FOR THE
XMAS (CHRISTMAS) SEASON.

Submitter comment:

CHILDHOOD

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): Cake ; CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; FESTIVAL ; FOOD ; FRUIT ; Fruitcake ; holiday ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Pastry

Date learned: NOT RECORDED

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

PEOPLE MAKE SPECIAL CAKES AND PLUM PUDDINGS IN MALTA AT CHRISTMAS
TIME. THEY GIVE THESE AWAY AS GIFTS SINCE THEIR CHRISTMAS IS NOT AS
COMMERCIAL AS IN THE U.S.A.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Cake ; CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; FOOD ; GIFTS ; Malta ; Pudding ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Pastry
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 03-08-1970

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LOKSHA--ETHNIC FOOD--CHRISTMAS
LOKSHA IS UNLEAVENED BREAD MADE INTO ROUND BALLS AND
BAKED UNTIL DRY AND HARD. THEN THE BALLS ARE SOAKED IN A POPPY SEED
AND HONEY SYRUP FOR SEVERAL DAYS UNTIL SOFT.

Submitter comment:

THIS IS SERVED DURING THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE ILE

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; FOOD ; holiday ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Pastry

Date learned: 10-28-1970

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CARTELATTE

IT IS THE CUSTOM IN SOME ITALIAN HOUSEHOLDS TO MAKE A SPECIAL
KIND OF PASTRY AT CHRISTMAS TIME CALLED CARTELATTE. THE ENTIRE
FAMILY USUALLY PARTICIPATES IN THIS PROCESS. DOUGH IS FLATTENED
VERY THIN, THEN FRIED UNTIL CRISP. IT CAN BE COVERED WITH
HONEY AND SUGAR.

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT'S FAMILY MAKES THIS EVERY CHRISTMAS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: NEW YORK ; FRANKLINVILLE

Keyword(s): CUSTOM ; FOOD ; holiday ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Pastry

Date learned: NOT RECORDED

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CUSTOM

IT IS A UKRAINIAN CUSTOM TO PUT HAY UNDER THE TABLE CLOTH AT
CHRISTMAS TIME. THIS REPRESENTS THE BIRTH OF CHRIST.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; NORTH QUAD

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; holiday ; Table Setting ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Table setting and clearing
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw

Date learned: 03-03-1971

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FRUIT AND NUTS ON THE TABLE

POLISH PEOPLE PLACE FRUIT AND NUTS ON THEIR TABLE CHRISTMAS EVE TO
SYMBOLIZE ABUNDANCE AND HARDSHIPS FOR THE COMING YEAR. THE
FRUIT SYMBOLIZES ABUNDANCE AND THE NUTS THE HARDSHIPS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CUSTOM ; FOOD ; holiday ; POLISH ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas

Date learned: 11-12-1969

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THE EXTRA PLACE AT CHRISTMAS

AT THE BIG CHRISTMAS EVE MEAL THE POLISH PEOPLE SET AN EXTRA
PLACE AT THE TABLE TO SIGNIFY THAT CHRIST WAS THERE. IF A BEGGAR
CAME TO THE DOOR HE WOULD NOT BE TURNED AWAY BUT WOULD BE SEATED
AT THE PLACE OF CHRIST BECAUSE HE WOULD REPRESENT CHRIST AND HOW NO
ONE WOULD GIVE HIM A ROOM.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Christ ; CHRISTMAS ; holiday ; POLISH ; SYMBOL ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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GOOD LUCK AT THE CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER

IT IS GOOD LUCK TO SEAT AN ODD NUMBER OF PEOPLE FOR THE
CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; holiday ; LUCK ; SUPERSTITION ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.4
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas
BELIEF -- Number Odd number (not specific)

Date learned: 03-24-1970

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A CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

ON CHRISTMAS EVE, WHEN THE TABLE IS SET FOR DINNER, AN EXTRA
PLACE AT THE TABLE IS SET. THE IDEA BEHIND THIS HABIT GOES AS
FOLLOWS: ALTHOUGH THE LORD IS NOT PHYSICALLY SITTING AT THE TABLE
SHARING A MEAL WITH US, HE IS THERE SPIRITUALLY AND THIS IS INDICATED
BY SETTING A PLACE FOR HIM.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; holiday ; Table Setting ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas

Date learned: NOT RECORDED

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CHRISTMAS TRADITION

ON CHRISTMAS EVE, AN EXTRA PLACE IS SET AT THE TABLE FOR CHRIST.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; THE QUAD

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; holiday ; Table Setting ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas

Date learned: NOT RECORDED

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CHRISTMAS EVE CUSTOM

AT THE MAIN MEAL ON CHRISTMAS EVE, ONE PLACE IS ALWAYS LEFT
VACANT FOR THE CHRIST CHILD WHO IS SUPPOSED TO COME THE NEXT
MORNING.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; holiday ; Table Setting ; tradition

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas

Date learned: 04-04-1972

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Ethnic: Polish

A POLISH, CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER CALLS FOR EACH SERVING TO BE
SERVED SEPARATELY. THE NEXT SERVING IS NOT BROUGHT ON UNTIL THE
PREVIOUS ONE HAS BEEN CONSUMED BY ALL THAT WANT IT. GENERALLY,
THE SERVINGS ARE OF VEGETABLES. THERE IS NO MEAT EATEN. NOTHING
IS DRANK DURING THE MEAL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated 02-23-2011 / TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ABSTINENCE ; CHRISTMAS ; Course ; CUSTOM ; Dinner ; DRINK ; ETHNIC ; Feast ; FOOD ; holiday ; meat ; POLISH ; Serve ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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