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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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NOT GIVEN

IF YOU PEEL AN ORANGE ON NEW YEAR'S EVE AND FINISH PEELING AT
THE STROKE OF TWELVE AND THE ORANGE PEEL HASN'T BROKEN ONCE,
GOOD LUCK WILL FOLLOW YOU FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR. YOU MUST WISH
WHILE YOU ARE PEELING--THESE WISHES WILL COME TRUE IF THE PEEL
DOESN'T BREAK.

Submitter comment: MISS ZITZEWITZ LEARNED THIS AS A CHILD AND HER FAMILY STILL
PRACTICES IT TODAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

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FOOD BELIEF

TO INSURE GOOD LUCK THROUGHOUT THE NEW YEAR, ONE SHOULD EAT
PORK ON NEW YEAR'S DAY.

Submitter comment: MISS ZITZEWITZ LEARNED THIS AS A CHILD AND HER FAMILY STILL
PRACTICES IT TODAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
Food Drink -- Meat Bred animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 10-02-1963

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YOU WILL DIE IN A YEAR IF YOU SEE YOUR IMAGE IN A BROKEN
MIRROR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.14

Date learned: 03-04-1968

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IF IT RAINS ON YOUR BIRTHDAY OR ON THE DAY OF
YOUR WEDDING, YOU WILL HAVE A PROSPEROUS COMING YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Private birthday or anniversary
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Marriage Superstition about good weather
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year

Date learned: 02-22-1970

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IF A MAN IS THE FIRST VISITOR IN YOUR HOUSE AFTER THE
FIRST OF THE NEW YEAR, THIS IS A SIGN THAT YOU WILL
HAVE A PROSPEROUS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR..

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN HEIGHTS

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year

Date learned: 11-10-1968

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A CUSTOM OR RATHER SUPERSTITION STILL FOLLOWED BY
SOME UKRAINIAN-AMERICANS TODAY STATES THAT IF A
SINGLE GIRL FALLS ON THE ICE ON NEW YEAR'S DAY, SHE
WILL BE MARRIED. IF AN OLD MAN FALLS ON NEW YEAR'S
DAY (SLIPPING ON THE ICE) THEN HE WILL DIE IN
THAT SAME YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year

Date learned: 09-20-1969

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EVE OF NEW YEAR

FOR NEW YEAR'S EVE YOU ARE TO HAVE SOURKRAUT AND SPARE RIBS

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM WAS LEARNED FROM HER ADOLESCENT STAGE IN HER HOME TOWN.
THIS IS A SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF OF HAVING CERTAIN FOODS FOR A
SPECIFIC DAY, IN ORDER TO BRING GOOD LUCK FOR THE COMING YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SAUERKRAUT

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's 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
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 00001930S

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EPIPHANY CAKE

EACH YEAR ON EPIPHANY OUR FAMILY BAKES A CAKE WITH A RING INSIDE IT.
WHOEVER GETS THE RING IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE GOOD LUCK THROUGHOUT
NEW YEAR. WE HAVE BEEN DOING THIS CUSTOM IN MY FAMILY ON AND OFF
SINCE I WAS IN THE THIRD GRADE. I THINK ORIGINALLY IT MAY HAVE BEEN
A GERMAN CUSTOM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): LUCKY FIND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.4

Date learned: CA 00001965

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BELIEF

IF YOU TAKE A DRINK OF NEW HOLY WATER ON EASTER SUNDAY YOU WILL NOT
GET ANYTHING CAUGHT IN YOUR THROAT THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE YEAR.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A BELIEF THAT SEEMS TO BE HELD MOSTLY BY ELDER CATHOLIC
WOMEN.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; HAZELTON

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Palm Sunday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Season
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00001960S

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ON THE DAY BEFORE EASTER, POLISH FAMILIES BLESS BASKETS OF FOOD FOR
GOOD LUCK AND GOOD HEALTH FOR THE YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 663 Holy Saturday
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.4

Date learned: 11-00-1972

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CANDLE

IF YOU BURN A CANDLE ALL THE WAY DOWN, IT WILL BRING SEVEN YEARS
GOOD LUCK

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.1

Date learned: 10-00-1972

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EVIL SPIRITS

ITALIANS DROP OIL AND VINEGAR IN WATER AND IF THE DROPS GROUP
TOGETHER. IT SYMBOLIZES THE COMING OF EVIL SPIRITS. IF THEY STAY
APART IT SYMBOLIZES A YEAR FREE OF EVIL SPIRITS

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 11-03-1972

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ROMAN NUMERALS

A RUSSIAN AND ITALIAN CUSTOM IS TO WRITE THE YEAR IN ROMAN NUMERALS
ABOVE THE DOOR AT NEW YEAR'S. THIS BRINGS GOOD LUCK IN THE FOLLOWING
YEAR

Where learned: DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Number
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 11-03-1972

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BAD LUCK

IN ITALY DURING CHRISTMAS TIME YOU FEED THE FARM ANIMALS AS MUCH AS
THEY COULD EAT, OTHERWISE, THE FAMILY WOULD HAVE BAD LUCK ALL YEAR.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM AN ITALIAN FRIEND WHOSE FAMILY IN ITALY
BELIEVED THIS RELIGIOUSLY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.46

Date learned: 09-25-1972

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NEW YEAR'S BELIEF

IF THE FIRST PERSON TO VISIT YOU ON NEW YEAR'S DAY IS FAIR-HAIRED THERE WILL BE MUCH TROUBLE FOR YOU THAT YEAR.

IF THE FIRST PERSON TO VISIT IS DARK-HAIRED THEN THERE WILL BE GOOD LUCK FOR THE YEAR.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

James Callow Keyword(s): FIRST FOOTING

Subject headings: 686 686.1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.42

Date learned: 09-10-1972

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NEW YEAR'S CUSTOM

IN ORDER TO ENSURE GOOD LUCK THROUGHOUT THE COMING YEAR, SAUERKRAUT AND PORK
MUST BE SERVED AT THE MAIN MEAL NEW YEAR'S DAY.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
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
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 09-10-1972

View just this record

CUSTOM

FIRST FOOTING - NEW YEAR IN ENGLAND FIRST PERSON TO ENTER HOUSE
AFTER MIDNIGHT SUPPOSED TO HAVE GIFT FOR HOUSE - MEANS GOOD
LUCK FOR THE NEW YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 686.1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 11-30-1972

View just this record

WHAT A PERSON IS DOING WHEN THE NEW YEAR FIRST STARTS,
IS WHAT THEY WILL BE DOING THE REST OF THE YEAR.

Submitter comment:

EXAMPLE: IF YOU'RE WASHING CLOTHES WHEN IT STARTS YOU'LL BE
WASHING CLOTHES THE REST OF THE YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 686.1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Number
BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 12-00-1972

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CHRISTMAS EVE CUSTOM

PUTTING A PILE OF STRAW IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TABLE, THEN THE MAIN
COURSES OF FOOD (IN LARGE BOWLS) ARE PLACED ON THE STRAW. IF THE
STRAW STICKS TO THE BOWL, THEN THAT PARTICULAR FOOD WILL BE
PLENTIFUL THE COMING YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 10-07-1972

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FUNERAL

MY MOTHER SAID THAT WHEN SHE WENT TO A FUNERAL OF ONE OF HER
RELATIVES SOMEONE BROUGHT A BABY. SHE WAS TOLD THAT THE BABY WOULD
HAVE TO BE THROWN BACK AND FORTH ACROSS THE GRAVE. IF NOT THE BABY
WOULD CRY AND BE FRETFUL FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. THEY THEN BEGAN
TO TOSS THE BABY BACK AND FORTH ACROSS THE GRAVE, STARTING AT ONE
END AND ENDING AT THE OTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 10-30-1972

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