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SUPERSTITION

SHEAVES OF GRAIN TIED WITH RIBBON ARE LEFT IN CORNERS OF THE ROOM AT
CHRISTMAS TIME FOR A GOOD HARVEST IN THE NEXT SEASON, IN POLAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

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

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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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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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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

ONE POLISH CHRISTMAS CUSTOM IS THAT OF FILLING THE STABLE SCENE. FOR
EACH GOOD DEED DONE BY THE CHILD, HE IS ALLOWED TO PLACE A STATUE IN
THE STABLE. AFTER ALL THE STATUES ARE IN, FOR EACH GOOD DEED DONE BY
THE CHILD, HE PLACES A PIECE OF STRAW IN THE CRIB OF THE CHRIST
CHILD. ON CHRISTMAS MORNING THE CHILD AWAKES TO FIND THE CHRIST
CHILD LAYING IN THE STRAW FILLED CRIB.

Where learned: NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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

Date learned: NOT RECORDED BY THE COLLECTOR

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

STARTING ON THE FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT MOTHER WOULD PUT OUT THE
MANGER FROM THE STABLE SCENE, ALONG SIDE OF THIS SHE WOULD PUT A
SMALL BOX OF LITTLE STRAWS. FOR EVERY REALLY GOOD DEED THAT WE DID
UNTIL CHRISTMAS EVE WE COULD PUT A STRAW IN TE MANGER. THE OBJECT
WAS THAT WE WOULD BE SO GOOD THAT THE MANGER WOULD BE FULL OF STRAW
TO MAKE A COMFORTABLE BED FOR JESUS.
THIS WAS JUST ONE OF THE MANY THINGS THAT MOTHER DID TO INSTILL THE
REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS IN US.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

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

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STRAW IN THE MANGER

STARTING WITH THE FIRST DAY OF ADVENT, IF ONE PUTS A PEICE OF STRAW
INTO AN EMPTY MANGER EVERY TIME A GOOD DEED ID PERFORMED, ON
CHRISTMAS DAY, THE CHRIST CHILD WILL HAVE A SOFT PLACE TO SLEEP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: 01-15-1968

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CHRISTMAS

DURING CHRISTMAS SEASON FOR EVERY SPECIAL THING THAT A MEMBER OF THE
FAMILY DID, THE PERSON PUT A PIECE OF STRAW IN THE CRIB AND THEY
TRIED TO SEE HOW MUCH STRAW THEY COULD PUT IN FOR CHRISTMAS.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS DONE BY THE INFORMANT, 1950-1968 IN DETROIT.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT

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

Date learned: 11-23-1970

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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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WHEAT

ON CHRISTMAS DAY STACKS OF WHEAT WERE HUNG FROM THE RAFTERS AND WERE
LEFT THERE UNTIL THE NEXT CHRISTMAS TO SIGNIFY CHRIST'S BIRTH
AND PRECENSE WITH THEM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: 11-00-1971

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AMONG UKRAINIANS THE RITUAL OPENING OF THE CHRISTMAS EVE MEAL
IS THE BRINGING IN OF A SHEAF OF WHEAT CALLED "DIDUKH"
(GRANDFATHER), A SYMBOL OF THE GATHERING OF THE CLAN; THIS
IS DONE BY THE MASTER OF THE HOUSEHOLD. (IN THE CITIES
THIS TRADITION HAS BEEN MODIFIED AND THE SHEAF IS REPLACED
WITH A FEW STALKS OF WHEAT IN A VASE.) THE SHEAF IS
PLACED IN THE CORNER OF THE DINING ROOM AND
REMAINS THERE UNTIL NEW YEAR WHEN IT IS TAKEN OUT AND BURNED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

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

Date learned: 10-00-1970

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FOR THE CHRISTMAS EVE SUPPER, UKRAINIANS PUT FRESH CLEAN STRAW
ON THE TABLE UNDER THE TABLE CLOTH, AND UNDER THE TABLE, AS A
REMINDER THAT CHRIST WAS BORN IN A MANGER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Table setting and clearing
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw

Date learned: 10-00-1970

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

STRAW IS PLACED UNDER KITCHEN TABLE ON CHRISTMAS EVE IN MEMORY OF
THE BIRTH OF JESUS.

Submitter comment: IT IS A CUSTOM THAT WAS PRACTICED IN POLAND WHEN INFORMANT WAS
A CHILD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN HEIGHTS

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

Date learned: 10-21-1970

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A CUSTOM PERFORMED BY MY GRANDPARENTS WAS THIS:
ON CHRISTMAS EVE THEY WOULD COVER THE DINNER TABLE WITH HAY.
THEY WOULD HAVE 7 OR 9 DISHES OF FOOD TO EAT. THERE COULD NEVER BE
AN EVEN NUMBER OF DISHES OF FOOD. AFTER THEY ATE THEY
WOULD LEAVE EVERTHING ON THE TABLE UNTIL THE NEXT DAY. THEN
THEY WOULD PICK UP THE HAY AND FEED IT TO THE CATTLE IN
THE BARN. NEXT THEY WOULD LOOK FOR ANY GRAIN THAT MAY HAVE
BEEN LEFT ON THE TABLE. THESE SEEDS SOMETIMES BECOME MIXED WITH
THE HAY. IF THERE WERE SOME GRAIN SEEDS FOUND ON THE TABLE THE
GRAIN CROP FOR THE NEXT YEAR WOULD BE GOOD.

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): FOOD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.2
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw

Date learned: 11-15-1969

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SYMBOL OF LAND FERTILITY

DURING THE UKRAINIAN CHRISTMAS EVE MEAL, A SHEAF OF
STRAW IN THE FORM OF A MAN IS PUT INTO A CORNER AND SYMBOLIZES
LAND FERTILITY. THE "MAN" IS CALLED DIDUKH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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SWADDLING CLOTHES

IN POLAND AT THE BIG FESTIVE MEAL ON CHRISTMAS
EVE, THE POLISH PEOPLE PUT STRAW UNDER THE TABLECLOTH TO
REMIND THEM THAT CHRIST WAS BORN IN SWADDLING CLOTHES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

ON CHRISTMAS EVE, SOME POLISH FAMILIES LAY STRAW ON THE
DINNER TABLE FOR THE MAGI.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: 01-00-1968

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A REMEMBRANCE OF THE STABLE

DURING THE UKRAINIAN CHRISTMAS EVE MEAL, STRAW IS
SCATTERED UNDERNEATH THE TABLE IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE
STABLE WHERE CHRIST WAS BORN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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CHRISTMAS

DURING THE CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER STRAW IS PUT UNDER THE TABLE
CLOTH FOR HEALTH AND PROSPERITY. THIS IS ANOTHER POLISH CUSTOM.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant is collector's mother.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; informant's home

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

Date learned: 03-19-1970

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

AT CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER, A BUNDLE OF HAY IS PUT UNDER THE TABLE.
 

Submitter comment:

This practice took place when informant lived on her parents' farm located near Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

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

Date learned: 02-22-1970

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CHRISTMAS

ON CHRISTMAS EVE, HAY WAS PUT ON THE DINNER
TABLE AND THE CLOTH PUT OVER THE HAY. IN THE
HAY WAS PUT SOME COIN MONEY FOR EACH PERSON
SO THEY WOULD NOT BE BROKE IN THE COMING YEAR.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTOR'S HOME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.4
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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