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CUSTOM

AFTER MIDNIGHT MASS AT CHRISTMAS ANYONE WHO COMES INTO THE HOUSE
IS OFFERED UNLEAVENED BREAD AND WINE TO WISH THEM A BLESSED
CHRISTMAS.

Submitter comment: LEARNED THIS FROM HER MOTHER-IN-LAW.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Mount Clemens

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Single dishes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Greetings, wishes, prayers, cards

Date learned: 03-20-1967

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SANTA CLAUS SUPERSTITION

IF YOU STAY UP AND WAIT FOR SANTA CLAUS, HE WILL NEVER COME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Santa Claus
BELIEF -- Number Emptiness, nothingness, zero

Date learned: 11-29-1967

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CUSTOM

ON CHRISTMAS EVE IT IS A CUSTOM IN IRELAND TO LEAVE EITHER THE
FRONT DOOR OR THE BACK DOOR AJAR SO THAT THE BABY JESUS AND THE
BLESSED MOTHER CAN BE ADMITTED INTO THE HOME.

Submitter comment: MRS. SULLIVAN'S FAMILY OBSERVED THIS CUSTOM IN COUNTY CLAIR,
IRELAND AROUND 1925.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

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ENGAGEMENT RING

IF A BOY GIVES YOU AN ENGAGEMENT RING ON A SPECIAL DAY LIKE YOUR
BIRTHDAY, CHRISTMAS, EASTER, ETC., IT CAN BE REGARDED AS A GIFT
AND NEED NOT BE RETURNED. YOU MUST RETURN IT IF HE GIVES IT TO
YOU ON AN ORDINARY DAY.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED THIS INFORMATION FROM MY GIRL FRIEND, MARGIE SMITH,
ABOUT 1960.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Engagement ring
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system:
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Movable Date
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Season
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Palm Sunday

Date learned: 05-12-1965

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

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
BELIEF -- Number Odd number (not specific)
BELIEF -- Good luck Food and drink

Date learned: 03-24-1970

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POLISH CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

THE FAMILY ALWAYS SETS AN EXTRA PLACE AT THE TABLE FOR THE
CHRISTMAS MEAL IN CASE ANYONE COMES IN NEED OF FOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CHARITY HOSPITALITY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.

Date learned: 10-10-1974

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UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC CHRISTMAS CUSTOMS

ON CHRISTMAS EVE "A HOLY SUPPER" IS SERVED WHEN THE FIRST EVENING
STAR APPEARS IN THE SKY. THE SUPPER CONSISTS OF NON-MEAT
FOODS, FOR THE DAY OF CHRISTMAS EVE IS DEVOTED TO PRAYER, FASTING
AND STRICT ABSTINENCE. THE FLOOR IS COVERED WITH STRAW AND THE
TABLE WITH HAY, A REMEMBRANCE THAT JESUS WAS BORN IN A STABLE
AND LAID IN A MANGER. A WHITE TABLE CLOTH IS SPREAD OVER
THE TABLE. ON THE CENTER OF THE TABLE A LARGE LIGHTED CANDLE
REPRESENTS THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM. FOR SUPPER THERE ARE TWELVE
PLATES. IT BEGINS WITH A PRAYER. THE HEAD OF THE FAMILY
DISTRIBUTES "PHOSPHORA", LITTLE PIECES OF BREAD WITH HONEY.
SUPPER CONSISTS OF ITEMS SUCH AS KUTIA, BOILED WHEAT AND HONEY,
BORSCH, BEET SOUP, HOLUBUTSI, CABBAGE ROLLS, PYRAHY, BOILED
ROLLS FILLED WITH MASHED POTATOES, CABBAGE AND CHEESE, AND FISH.
EACH A REMEMBRANCE OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES.
A SHEAF OF RYE IN THE CORNER OF THE ROOM IS A SYMBOL OF THE FERTILITY
OF THE UKRAINIAN SOIL. DURING SUPPER CAROLS ARE SUNG. GROUPS OF
CAROLERS VISIT THE HOME AND CAROL "KOLIADA" DURING THE EVENING.
A GROTTO IS CARRIED WITH THE SHEPHERDS AND MANGER AND ALSO THE
CAROLERS CARRY SIX OR EIGHT POINTED STARS WITH TWO SURFACES AND
A CANDLE IS PLACED BETWEEN THEM. THE CAROLERS REPRESENT THE
SHEPHERDS AND ANGELS, CAROLING IS POPULAR TO GLORIFY JESUS
AND MARY AND INSTILL RELIGIOUS TRUTHS TO THE PEOPLE. CAROLS
ORIGINATED IN THE 17 CENTURY. THE OLDEST IS "BOH PREDVICHNEY", THAT
IS "ETERNAL GOD IS BORN". THE CAROLS ARE IN TWO GROUPS, "KOLIADY"
AND "SCHEDRIVKY". THE FIRST GROUP IS RELIGIOUS AND THE SECOND
EXPRESSES GREETINGS PEOPLE GREET ONE ANOTHER WITH. AN EXAMPLE
IS "KHRYSTOS RAGHDAYETSIA" OR CHRIST IS BORN, THE ANSWER
"SLAVYTE YEHA" OR PRAISE HIM.

Submitter comment: THESE ARE VERY INVOLVED AND SYMBOLIC CUSTOMS FOR CHRISTMAS.
THEY ARE PRACTICED HERE AND IN THE UKRAINE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Custom Festival C840.1224
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F455
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Moon
SPEECH -- Vocabulary of Special Group

Date learned: 02-00-1974

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VERSE WITHOUT MUSIC

IF "IFS" AND "BUTS"
WERE CANS OF NUTS,
OH, WHAT A CHRISTMAS WE'D HAVE:

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

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.

Date learned: 00001960S

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CHRISTMAS EVE CUSTOM

ON CHRISTMAS EVE THERE IS A MEAL CALLED WILIA (?) (VEELEA). THIS
IS A MEATLESS MEAL AND IT CANNOT BE STARTED UNTIL THE FIRST STAR
APPEARS. IT MUST ALSO BE FINISHED BEFORE MIDNIGHT MASS. BEFORE THE
MEAL THERE IS A LONG, THIN WAFER CALLED AN OPLATEK (OPWATEK) WHICH
EACH PERSON HAS AND WHICH EACH OTHER PERSON BREAKS A PIECE FROM.
AS THEY DO THIS THEY SHARE CHRISTMAS GREETINGS AND EAT THE WAFERS
TOGETHER. THESE WAFERS WERE MADE BY CATHOLIC COMMUNION HOST
COMPANIES AND WERE AVAILABLE FROM RECTORIES AND CONVENTS. THE MEAL
WOULD BE HELD AT THE OLDEST AVAILABLE PARENTS' HOUSE WITH ALL THE
CHILDREN PRESENT. IF SOMEONE MISSED THE MEAL EVERYONE WOULD HOLD
ON TO THEIR WAFERS TILL THE NEXT DAY AND PERFORM THE CEREMONY THEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Number Numbers used for ordering, organizing, or explaining a hierarchy: the oldest son should receive the inheritance.

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

AFTER CHRISTMAS THE BOYS WOULD VISIT HOMES DRESSED AS A DEVIL
CARRYING A PITCHFORK AND SHEPHERDS WITH A STAR. THEY WOULD SING A
FEW CHRISTMAS CAROLS AND PUT ON A SHORT FUNNY PLAY. THE PLAY
USUALLY INVOLVED THE SHEPHERDS AND DEVIL FIGHTING EACH OTHER.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS DONE IN POLAND FROM CHRISTMAS DAY UNTIL NEW YEAR'S DAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; POLAND ; Sterling Heights ; GOWARCZOW

Subject headings: DRAMA -- Religious
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 28 Holy Innocents
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 26 Boxing Day St. Stephen's Day
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F123
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Songs, caroling

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

A BUNDLE OF STRAW WOULD BE PLACED IN THE CORNER OF A ROOM.
A WAFER WOULD LAY ON TOP OF SOME HAY ON THE CENTER OF THE
TABLE.

Submitter comment: THIS OCCURRED IN POLAND.
THIS OCCURRED ON CHRISTMAS EVE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; POLAND ; Sterling Heights ; GOWARCZOW

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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FIRSTS

CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER DOES NOT START UNTIL FIRST STAR APPEARS
IN THE SKY.

Submitter comment: MOTHER WOULD ALWAYS REMIND US OF THIS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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FAMILY CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

ON CHRISTMAS MORNING IN OUR FAMILY, A SPECIAL PROCEDURE IS
FOLLOWED REGARDING THE PRELIMINARIES TO RECEIVING OUR GIFTS. ON
CHRISTMAS EVE, OUR PARENTS PLACE THEIR GIFTS TO THE FIVE CHILDREN
IN FIVE PILES IN THE LIVING ROOM, WHERE THE TREE IS, AND THEN LOCK
BOTH DOORS TO THE ROOM. IN THE MORNING, ALL HAVE TO GO IN THE
KITCHEN AND WAIT UNTIL EVERYONE IS UP AND HAS EATEN BREAKFAST (WHICH
ALWAYS INCLUDES A FRUIT STOLLEN SPECIAL-ORDERED FROM THE BAKERY.)
BEFORE THEY CAN GO INTO THE LIVING ROOM. (MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, THE
EARLY RISERS GET IMPATIENT AND WAKE THE LATE SLEEPERS.) OUR STOCK-
INGS ARE HUNG IN THE KITCHEN (WE HAVE NO FIREPLACE) AND THOSE ARE
THE ONLY GIFTS YOU CAN LOOK AT BEFORE YOU ENTER THE LIVING ROOM.
WHEN THE TIME FINALLY COMES, OUR FATHER GOES INTO THE ROOM AND LIGHTS
UP THE TREE, WHILE WE LINE UP IN ORDER OF AGE. WHEN HE GIVES THE
SIGNAL, WE ARE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE ROOM. AFTER WE HAVE OPENED THESE
GIFTS, WE GO UPSTAIRS AND BRING DOWN OUR GIFTS TO OUR PARENTS,
BROTHERS, AND SISTERS. THE CAMERA IS ALWAYS USED TO GET PICTURES OF
US OPENING OUR GIFTS, AND SOMETIME DURING THE COURSE OF THE MORNING
OUR FATHER PLAYS CHRISTMAS CAROLS ON THE ORGAN.

Submitter comment: WE CHILDREN PRESENTLY RANGE IN AGE FROM 11 TO 19,
WE HAVE ALWAYS ENACTED THIS TRADITION, AND AS YET IT HAS SHOWN NO
SIGNS OF DYING OUT. WHEN I HAVE A FAMILY OF MY OWN, I WILL PROBABLY
PASS THE CUSTOM ON TO THEM.

Where learned: OHIO ; MASSILLON

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 F642.84

Date learned: 09-00-1973

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A POLISH TRADITION ON THE CHRISTMAS VIGIL IS THE BREAKING OF WAFERS
AND WISHING GOOD LUCK ON EVERYBODY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Good luck
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 10-15-1972

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THE POLISH CUSTOM OF DYNGUS, ON ST. STEPHENS DAY, IS FOR THE BOYS
TO TAKE A BRANCH FROM A TREE OR A BUSH, STRIP IT, AND THEN GENTLY
WHIP THE GIRL'S LEGS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 26 Boxing Day St. Stephen's Day
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Lower body, legs

Date learned: 10-15-1972

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A TRADITION IN THE OLD COUNTRY WAS AFTER CHRISTMAS DINNER THEY
BROUGHT THE FOOD LEFT ON THE TABLE INTO THE BARNS FOR THE COWS TO EAT.
THE COWS WOULD NOT TOUCH THE FOOD UNTIL 12:00 O'CLOCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMALS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Feeding animals, spirits of trees
Food Drink -- Food

Date learned: 11-00-1972

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

TAFFY WAS A THIEF
TAFFY CAME TO OUR HOUSE
AND STOLE A LEG OF BEEF.

Submitter comment: IN BAVARIA, GERMANY - KRIS KRINGLE CAME AROUND AND GAVE TO GOOD
CHILDREN POP CORN MADE INTO A BALL IN STOCKING - BAD CHILDREN GOT
SWITCHES AND ASHES.

James Callow comment: COLLECTOR DID NOT SAY WHEN CHRISTMAS WAS CELEBRATED.
BOGGS NUMBERS, ADDED BY ME, SHOW POSSIBILITIES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.

Date learned: 11-30-1972

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Polish Christmas Eve

ALL MEMBERS OF A FAMILY GATHER AT GRANDPARENTS'
HOUSE FOR A POLISH SUPPER FOLLOWED BY RECEPTION OF A PIECE OF OPLATKI, A LARGE COMMUNTION WAFER, RECEIVED FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): OPLATKI?

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

THE BLACHE FAMILY CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS ON CHRISTMAS EVE. THE
CHILDREN WOULD GO DOWNSTAIRS AND WAIT, WHILE THE PARENTS
WOULD BRING OUT THE PRESENTS AND PUT THEM UNDER THE TREE.
THEN THE CHILDREN COULD COME UP, BUT THE FATHER WOULD MAKE
THEM STOP SEVERAL TIMES ON THE WAY AND "SING FOR THEIR
PRESENTS." THEY WOULD HAVE TO SING CHRISTMAS CAROLS AND ONLY
WHEN THE FATHER DECIDED THEY HAD SUNG ENOUGH AND WELL ENOUGH
COULD THEY RECEIVE THEIR PRESENTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Songs, caroling

Date learned: 00-01-960

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THE CHRISTMAS TREE IS NEVER PUT UP BEFORE CHRISTMAS EVE AND
NEVER TAKEN DOWN BEFORE JANUARY 6.

Submitter comment:

THIS IS A POLISH CUSTOM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Christmas Season See F645.2 for Advent Season.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Christmas tree

Date learned: 10-00-1965

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