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UKRANIAN CHRISTMAS

YOU SHOULD HAVE REAL STRAW FOR THE CRIB AND AN OAK TREE FOR THE
CHRISTMAS TREE.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; ERIE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Manger scenes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Christmas tree

Date learned: 00-00-1966

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CHRISTMAS TRADITION

IT IS (A) CUSTOM IN OUR HOUSE TO LEAVE THE CHRISTMAS TREE UP
UNTIL EPIPHANY, SO AS THE THREE KINGS CAN VISIT THE MANGER WHICH
IS UNDER THE TREE.

Where learned: NOT RECORDED

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Manger scenes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Christmas tree

Date learned: NOT RECORDED

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CHRISTMAS TRADITION

A STAR IS ALWAYS PLACED AT THE TOP OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE.
THE STABLE SCENE IS FOUND UNDER THE TREE.

Submitter comment: CHILDHOOD

Where learned: NOT RECORDED

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Manger scenes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Christmas tree

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS CUSTOMS, POLISH

THE TRADITIONAL POLISH CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS BEGINS BY OBSERVING
THE ADVENT SEASON, AWAITING THE FESTIVE CHRISTMAS. THIS IS
CULMINATED AT THE VIGILIA MEAL, SERVED ON CHRISTMAS EVE. THIS IS
THE TRANSITION BETWEEN ADVENT AND THE DAY ON WHICH POLES COMMEMERATE
CHRIST'S BIRTH. THE WORD VIGILIA MEANS WATCHING AND THIS IS IN
EFFECT WHAT THE PARTICIPANTS DO. THE MENU INCLUDES HERRING, WHICH IS
THE MAIN COURSE. THIS IS EATEN WITH MILK SYMBOLIZING A BITTER-SWEET
TIME OF REPENTANCE AND AWAITED JOY. UPON THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEAL
THE CHRISTMAS WAFER (OPLATEK) IS BROKEN FIRST BY THE HEAD OF THE
HOUSEHOLD AND DISTRIBUTED TO MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY, THE OLDEST
RECEIVING HIS PORTION FIRST. EACH FAMILY MEMBER IN TURN BREAKS THE
WAFER WITH ANOTHER WISHING PEACE AND GOOD WILL TO ONE ANOTHER. THE
WAFER SYMBOLIZES THE BLESSINGS OF CHRIST THAT ARE HOPED TO BE
BESTOWED DURING THE COMING YEAR. FOLLOWING THE MEAL A SZOPKA MAY BE
PRESENTED. THIS IS A PUPPET SHOW RE-ENACTING "THE NATIVITY" AND IS
SHOWN IN A SPECIALLY BUILT, RICHLY ORNATE, WOODEN STAGE. IN THIS
WAY THE CHILDREN OF THE POLISH FAMILY COME TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUE
MEANING OF CHRISTMAS.
NO MORE ACTIVITY TAKES PLACE IN THE HOME. ITS MEMBERS ASSUME A
SOMBER CONDITION OF MIND AND DEPART FOR THE MIDNIGHT MASS. THIS MASS
IS THE TRADITIONAL PASTERKA IN WHICH THE SOLEMN TONE OF THE SEASON IS
HIGHLIGHTED BY THE SINGING OF KOLENDY OR POLISH NATIONAL CHRISTMAS
CAROLS. FOLLOWING MASS THE FAMILY RETURNS HOME AND EXCHANGE GIFTS.
NEW YEAR'S EVE IS NOT CELEBRATED AS A FESTIVE EVENT, BUT THE FEAST OF
THE THREE KINGS SYMBOLIZES THE END OF THE POLISH CHRISTMAS SEASON.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LOUNGE

Subject headings: 122 Christmas
645 645.2
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.82
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Manger scenes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Songs, caroling
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Church

Date learned: 11-26-1970

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MALTESE CHRISTMAS

IT IS A MALTESE TRADITION TO MAKE A MANGER AT CHRISTMAS INSTEAD
OF THE TRADITIONAL TREE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Manger scenes

Date learned: 01-28-1979

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STAJENKA

EVERY CHRISTMAS IT IS CUSTOMARY FOR POLISH FAMILIES TO DISPLAY
FIGURINES OF CHRIST'S NATIVITY UNDER THEIR CHRISTMAS TREES. BESIDES
STATUES OF JOSEPH, MARY, AND THE INFANT JESUS, SHEPHERDS, SHEEP,
WISE MEN, AND CAMELS ARE PLACED UNDER THE TREE. OFTEN A WHOLE
VILLAGE, INCLUDING HOUSES, FARMS, ANIMALS, AND PEOPLE, IS
CONSTRUCTED. THE NATIVITY DISPLAY IS REFERRED TO AS THE STAJENKA.

Submitter comment: DISPLAYING THE STAJENKA UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE IS A COMMON
PRACTICE FOR THE INFORMANT.

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Christmas Season See F645.2 for Advent Season.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Manger scenes

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CHRISTMAS EVE IN THE UNITED STATES

ON CHRISTMAS EVE THE WHOLE FAMILY WOULD GATHER TOGETHER IN
THE LIVING ROOM AND TURN OFF THE LIGHTS. EACH CHILD WOULD BE
GIVEN A LIT CANDLE WHICH THEY WOULD CARRY TO THE MANGER
SITUATED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM. THE YOUNGEST CHILD
WOULD HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF CARRYING THE BABY JESUS FIGURE
AND PLACING HIM IN THE CRIB. WE WOULD SING CHRISTMAS CAROLS
AROUND THE MANGER AFTER THE PROCESSION WAS OVER. WHOEVER
WAS CARRYING THE BABY WAS VERY SERIOUS ABOUT THEIR
RESPONSIBILITY AND THOUGHT THAT THEY WOULD HURT HIM IF THEY
HELD TOO TIGHTLY.

Submitter comment: MY MOTHER STARTED THIS TRADITION WHEN MY BROTHER LEO COULD
FIRST WALK AND NOW IT IS STILL CONTINUING WITH HIS SON
LEO THE FOURTH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Manger scenes

Date learned: 00-00-1958

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CHRISTMAS IN ITALY

THIS IS THE WAY MRS. POPP CELEBRATED CHRISTMAS
UNTIL SHE WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD, WHEN SHE AND HER FAMILY
MOVED TO AMERICA, LEAVING THE TRADITIONS IN ITALY.
CHRISTMAS IN ITALY STARTS IN EARLY FALL AND ENDS ON JANUARY 6
WITH THE ARRIVAL OF LA BAFANA, SANTA'S ASSISTANT.
IN THE EARLY FALL THE YOUNG CHILDREN WOULD GO HOUSE TO
HOUSE BEGGING FOR WOOD, PREPARING FOR THE MOST EXCITING
PART OF THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY, THE GIANT BONFIRE. EVERY YEAR
THE BIGGEST THICKEST LOG, CALLED THE YULE LOG WAS SAVED
THROUGHOUT THE YEAR FOR GOOD LUCK. INSTEAD OF A CHRISTMAS
TREE ITALIANS SET UP A PRESEPIO, AN ELABORATE MODEL OF
BETHLEHEM. THE CRADLE WAS LEFT EMPTY UNTIL CHRISTMAS EVE
WHEN A SPECIAL CHILD WAS GIVEN THE HONOR OF PLACING THE
SMALL STATUE IN THE CRADLE. AT THE CENONE (GREAT BIG DINNER)
SEVEN DIFFERENT KINDS OF FISH ARE SERVED. BEFORE THE FAMILY
GOES TO BED THEY LEAVE CAKES AND CANDY ON THE TABLE AS AN OPEN
INVITATION FOR MARY AND HER SMALL CHILD TO SPEND THE NIGHT.
THIS WAS THEIR WAY OF TELLING MARY THAT THEY NEVER WANTED HER
TO LOOK FOR A PLACE TO LAY HER CHILD, SHE WAS ALWAYS WELCOME
IN THEIR HOMES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Christmas Season See F645.2 for Advent Season.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Manger scenes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Autumn Fall Harvest Thanksgiving

Date learned: 02-00-1984

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MANGER

MANY PEOPLE PUT FIGURINES RESEMBLING THE NATIVITY
SCENE UNDER THEIR CHRISTMAS TREES. THESE SMALL
STATUES ARE USUALLY A FEW INCHES IN HEIGHT.

Submitter comment: LEARNED THIS FROM HOME.

Where learned: OHIO ; CANTON

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

Date learned: 12-01-1967

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CHRISTMAS

IF YOU ARE GOOD EVERY DAY YOU CAN ADD A LITTLE MORE
STRAW TO THE MODEL MANGER TO MAKE CHRIST'S CRIB
SOFTER.

Submitter comment: FAMILY CUSTOM AS A CHILD.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: 645 September 23 Equinox to December 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Manger scenes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw

Date learned: 12-01-1967

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THE CHRIST CHILD IS NOT PUT INTO THE MODEL MANGER
UNTIL CHRISTMAS MORNING.

Submitter comment: FROM FAMILY TRADITION AS A CHILD.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Manger scenes

Date learned: 11-26-1967

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MANGER

MANY PEOPLE PUT FIGURINES RESEMBLING THE NATIVITY
SCENE UNDER THEIR CHRISTMAS TREES. THESE SMALL
STATUES ARE USUALLY A FEW INCHES IN HEIGHT.

Submitter comment: LEARNED THIS FROM HOME.

Where learned: OHIO ; CANTON

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

Date learned: 12-01-1967

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CHRISTMAS

IF YOU ARE GOOD EVERY DAY YOU CAN ADD A LITTLE MORE
STRAW TO THE MODEL MANGER TO MAKE CHRIST'S CRIB
SOFTER.

Submitter comment: FAMILY CUSTOM AS A CHILD.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: 645 September 23 Equinox to December 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Manger scenes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw

Date learned: 12-01-1967

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IN IRELAND, THE IRISH CUSTOM IN ADVENT, IS TO HAVE A
BOWL OF STRAW AND A MANGER SCENE. WHEN A GOOD DEED IS
PERFORMED, THE PERSON TAKES A PIECE OF STRAW AND PUTS
IT IN THE CRIB. THE OBJECT AND THOUGHT IS TO MAKE THE
CRIB AS SOFT AS POSSIBLE FOR THE INFANT JESUS

Where learned: MARYGROVE COLLEGE ; IRELAND

Keyword(s): MANGER

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOL

Subject headings: 645 September 23 Equinox to December 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Manger scenes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw

Date learned: 00001968 FALL

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CHRISTMAS BELIEF

NO CHRIST CHILD IN THE MANGER BEFORE CHRISTMAS EVE.

Submitter comment:

SHE WILL NOT PUT THE FIGURE IN THE MANGER BEFORE THEN.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

James Callow comment:

Meaning?

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Christ ; CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; holiday ; MANGER ; RELIGION ; SYMBOL

Subject headings: Custom
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Manger scenes
BELIEF -- Religious hero

Date learned: 01-20-1971

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