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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WEDDING SHOWER CUSTOMS AND SUPERSTITIONS

AT WEDDING SHOWERS, THE RIBBONS AND BOWS ARE COLLECTED FROM THE
GIFTS AND SAVED BY MAKING A SLIT IN A PAPER PLATE AND INSERTING
THEM INTO PLACE. WHEN THE BRIDE-TO-BE OPENS HER GIFTS, SHE SHOULD
NOT BREAK, CUT OR TEAR THE RIBBONS. THE NUMBER SHE BREAKS IS AN
INDICATOR OF THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN SHE WILL CONCEIVE. A
VARIATION IS THE NUMBER OF BOWS BROKEN IS EQUAL TO THE NUMBER OF
YEARS SHE WILL WAIT TO HAVE HER FIRST BABY.

Submitter comment: THE CUSTOM OF SAVING RIBBONS WAS FIRST HEARD BY THE COLLECTOR IN
1976. IT IS A RITE OF PASSAGE CEREMONY IN WHICH THE BRIDE-TO-BE
CHANGES FROM SINGLE TO MARRIED LIFE. HERE TWO VARIATIONS CAN BE
ILLUSTRATED. EACH IS DIFFERENT ALTHOUGH THE MAIN IDEA IS SIMILAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; USA ; SOUTHGATE

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Bows
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 06-00-1978 ; 10-00-1976

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ALL THE RIBBONS FROM THE BRIDE-TO-BE'S SHOWER GIFTS
ARE SAVED AND MADE INTO A "RIBBON BOUQUET" TO USE
AT THE WEDDING REHEARSAL. THIS BRINGS HER GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: HARPER WOODS ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Bows

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE WEDDING CAR FOR THE BRIDE AND GROOM SHOULD BE
DECORATED WITH BOWS TAKEN OFF PRESENTS FROM THE
BRIDAL SHOWER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Bows

Date learned: 03-00-1970

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