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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SUPERSTITION

YOU MUST NEVER SWEEP AFTER THE SUN GOES DOWN. WHEN YOU DO SWEEP
THE HOUSE, YOU MUST CONTINUALLY SAY "BAD LUCK GO OUT, GOOD LUCK
COME."

Submitter comment: MRS. GROVE'S MOTHER FOLLOWED THIS CUSTOM RELIGIOUSLY. SHE IS FROM
SOMERSET, PENNSYLVANIA. MRS. GROVE FIRST LEARNED OF THIS CUSTOM
APPROXIMATELY THIRTY YEARS AGO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Sun
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.21
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 10-20-1963

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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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PLANTING CUSTOM

IT IS A TRADITIONAL CUSTOM IN EUROPE FOR THE UPPER CLASS TO HAVE
THEIR SERVANTS PLANT THE VEGETABLE AND FLOWER GARDENS IN THE EVENING
AFTER THE SUN HAS GONE DOWN. THE HOLES ARE DUG AND WATER IS THEN
POURED INTO THEM. THE SERVANT THEN WORKS THIS TO FORM A MUDDY PASTE
IN WHICH THE YOUNG PLANTS ARE PLACED.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER MOTHER AND SAYS THE PURPOSE OF THIS
IS TO PREVENT THE YOUNG PLANTS FROM BEING SCORCHED IN THE HOT SUN.
INFORMANT CARRIES ON THIS CUSTOM EVERY SPRING WHEN PLANTING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F476
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Sun
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 09-25-1972

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DON'T SWEEP OUT THE DOOR AT NIGHT, IT'S BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: TOLD BY MRS. SULLIVAN WHO WAS TOLD BY HER GRANDMOTHER.

Where learned: DETROIT ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 10-11-1972

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SUNDAY NIGHTS

ON SUNDAY NIGHTS WE WOULD LISTEN TO SOME SPOOKY RADIO
SHOWS LIKE "THE HERMIT'S CAVE." WE WOULD ALL GO OVER
AND SIT IN SOMEBODY'S FRONT ROOM AND TURN OUT
THE LIGHTS. GOT THE HELL SCARED OUT OF US.

Submitter comment:

MY DAD DID THIS AS AN ADOLESCENT BEFORE T.V. WAS POPULARIZED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour

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EVERY MORNING MY MOTHER WOULD GO OUTSIDE AND LOOK AT THE SMOKE
COMING OUT OF THE CHIMNEY. IF THE SMOKE WENT STRAIGHT UP THE
WEATHER WOULD BE GOOD. IF THE SMOKE CURLED AROUND THE WEATHER
WOULD BE BAD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through A time segment or a direction
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Other matter not of solid form

Date learned: 10-20-1972

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RELIGIOUS CUSTOM

THE JEWISH PEOPLE LIGHT CANDLES ON FRIDAY NIGHT.

Submitter comment: THIS WELCOMES THE SABBATH

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour

Date learned: 00-00-1950

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FAMILY CUSTOM

AFTER CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY EVERYONE WOULD GATHER IN THE KEEPING ROOM
TO HAVE COFFEE AND PASTRIES. THE MEN WOULD DRINK WHISKEY AND TOAST
TO EACH OTHER

Submitter comment: A KEEPING ROOM IS LIKE A LIVING ROOM IN AUBURN MASSACHUSETTS

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour

Date learned: 10-03-1972

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IT IS BAD TO BURY AFTER SUNSET.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; BURIAL ; Dead ; SUNSET ; SUPERSTITION ; WEATHER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.44

Date learned: 09-08-1972

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CUSTOM

A GIRL IS NOT A CO-ED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN UNTIL
SHE IS KISSED AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT UNDER THE ENGINEERING ARCH.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): EXACT TIME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- School

Date learned: 12-00-1967

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SPIRIT

ON AN AUGUST DAY WHEN THE SUN IS HIGHEST IN THE SKY AT 12
NOON, STAND WITH THREE FRIENDS IN A WOODEN DESERTED AREA. AT
EXACTLY 12 NOON HAVE EVERYONE STARE AT EACH OTHER. THE SUN COMING
THROUGH THE TREES SHOULD FORM A HALO OVER THE PERSON OR PERSONS
WHO HAVE ANY POWER OF WITCHCRAFT OR WIZARDRY IN THEIR BLOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBERS

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- not sure
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Sun
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Observation of galactic or celestial bodies

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SEWING

MRS. RANKIN WAS TOLD BY HER MOTHER THAT IT IS A SIN TO SEW ON SUNDAY.
SHE, IN TURN, HAS PASSED IT DOWN TO HER CHILDREN AND HER CHILDREN
HAVE PASSED IT DOWN TO THEIRS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): SABBATARIANISM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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" A BRIEF TENURE "

IF YOU MOVE ON A FRIDAY IT WILL BE A SHORT FLITTIN'.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT, MRS. STOKES, LEARNED THIS FROM HER MOTHER,
MRS. HARRIET MALLINSON AS A CHILD IN GARY, INDIANA. (CIRCA 1925)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): MOVING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour

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RABBIT

ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH, IF A PERSON SAYS
RABBIT THE VERY FIRST THING IN THE MORNING, THE
REST OF THE MONTH WILL BE GOOD.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT ACTUALLY DOES THIS EACH MONTH, AND HAS
BEEN DOING THIS SINCE SHE WAS A CHILD. SHE LIVED
IN CALIFORNIA WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD.

Keyword(s): AWAKENING

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- February 1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- April 1 (April Fool's Day)
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- April 1 April Fools
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May 1 May Day
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- June 1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August 1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- September 1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F100
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- November 1 All Saints
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Month
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Good luck
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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COMMON WORD

HUMP DAY

Submitter comment: ANOTHER NAME FOR WEDNESDAY- THE HUMP OF THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
SPEECH -- Common Word

Date learned: 01-00-1977

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MARRIAGE

NEVER GET MARRIED BEFORE OR AFTER THE HOUR, ALWAYS ON THE HOUR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour

Date learned: 03-00-1979

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SUPERSTITION

OWLS ARE BAD LUCK. IF YOU SEE ONE, OR IF ONE FLIES OVER YOU, YOU'LL
GET BAD LUCK FOR A WEEK. IF YOU'RE WALKING, YOU'LL FALL. IF YOU'RE
WRITING, YOU'LL MAKE MISTAKE; IF YOU DRIVE CAR, YOU'LL MAKE ACCIDENT.

Submitter comment: HE LEARNED THIS SUPERSTITION FROM HIS FAMILY AND BELIEVES IN IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; COLLECTORS HOME

James Callow Keyword(s): PALESTINIAN INFORMANT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 02-00-1979

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QUEER DAY

WEARING YELLOW ON THURSDAYS MEANT YOU WERE GAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 02-00-1979

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