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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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NUMBERS

IN ITALY, 13 IS A LUCKY NUMBER AND 11 IS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.11
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.5
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.5

Date learned: 03-13-1975

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HOURS OF SLEEP

NATURE NEEDS FIVE
CUSTOM TAKES SEVEN
LAZINESS TAKES NINE
AND WICKEDNESS ELEVEN

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ROUTINE

Subject headings: 686 Fifths
686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
686 Ninths / Nine
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.11

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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PROPERTIES ATTRIBUTED TO SEVEN AND ELEVEN (CLASSIFIER'S TITLE)

THE NUMBERS SEVEN AND ELEVEN ARE SAID TO BE VERY LUCKY.

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.11
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 04-26-1972

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FOOD

ON CHRISTMAS EVE ELEVEN DIFFERENT DISHES ARE PREPARED. THESE ARE
TRADITIONAL POLISH FOODS USUALLY LEFT UP TO THE DECISION OF THE
HOSTESS AS TO WHAT WILL BE SERVED. THE ONLY DISH WHICH MUST BE
SERVED IS THAT OF ANGEL BREAD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; FOOD ; holiday ; POLISH ; tradition

Subject headings: 122 Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.82
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.11

Date learned: 03-21-1971

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THE TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS EVE SUPPER (POLISH TRADITION)

A GROUP OF RELATIVES AND FRIENDS WOULD BE INVITED TO PARTAKE
OF SEVEN, NINE, OR ELEVEN MEATLESS FOODS (ALWAYS AN ODD NUMBER).
THE MEAL USUALLY CONSISTED OF SOUPS, DUMPLINGS, FISH, PICKLED
HERRING, BOILED POTATOES, SAUR KRAUT (SAUERKRAUT) WITH MUSHROOMS,
BOILED RICE, COOKED PRUNES. THE TABLE WAS COVERED WITH A
TABLECLOTH, WITH SOME STRAW UNDERNEATH, THERE PRESENTS FOR THE
CHILDREN WOULD BE HIDDEN. THE CHILDREN WERE NOT ALLOWED TO
LOOK FOR THEM UNTIL AFTER THE DINNER. AT THE MEAL EVERYONE WOULD
TAKE A PIECE OF ANGEL BREAD (WAFER) AND SHARE IT WITH OTHERS,
WISHING THEM GOOD HEALTH AND LUCK FOR THE COMING YEAR.

Submitter comment:

SOME PEOPLE STILL PRACTICE THIS CUSTOM TODAY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; RESIDENCE ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ABSTINENCE FROM MEAT ; CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; FOOD ; holiday ; LUCK ; Vegetarian

Subject headings: 122 Christmas
686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
686 Ninths / Nine
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.82
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.11
BELIEF -- Number Odd number (not specific)

Date learned: NOT RECORDED

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POLISH CHRISTMAS EVE CUSTOMS

ON CHRISTMAS EVE THE POLISH HAVE A HUGE MAIN SUPPER. THIS SUPPER
USUALLY CONSISTS OF ELEVEN DIFFERENT FOODS NONE OF WHICH MAY BE
MEAT. ALOT OF VEGETABLES ARE EATEN AT THIS MEAL INCLUDING
CABBAGE, MUSHROOMS, BEET SOUP AND DUMPLINGS. ALSO AT THIS MEAL A
SQUARE WAFER, WHICH HAS BEEN BLESSED IS PASSED AROUND THE TABLE.
EACH PERSON WISHING THE PERSON TO HIS SIDE, WELL, WHILE TAKING
A PIECE OF IT.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HARPER WOODS

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; FOOD ; holiday

Subject headings: 122 Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.82
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.11

Date learned: 10-22-1971

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CHRISTMAS EVE SUPERSTITION

CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER WAS A SEVEN, NINE, OR ELEVEN COURSE MEAL. IN
NO CASE MUST THERE BE AN ODD NUMBER OF PEOPLE AT THE TABLE. OTHER-
WISE, SOME OF THE FEASTERS WOULD NOT LIVE TO SEE ANOTHER CHRISTMAS.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDMOTHER WASN'T A VERY FOND BELIEVER OF SUPERSTITIONS, BUT
SHE SAW TO IT THAT AN EVEN NUMBER OF GUESTS WERE PRESENT.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
686 Ninths / Nine
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.11
BELIEF -- Number Even number (not specific)
BELIEF -- Number Odd number (not specific)

Date learned: 00-00-1940

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VIGILIA

THE MAIN MEAL IS EATEN IN THE EVENING. THE TABLE IS SET
WITH ELEVEN OR THIRTEEN VARIETIES OF FOOD. THERE MAY
BE MORE OR LESS VARIETIES, BUT IT IS ALWAYS AN ODD NUMBER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Menus
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.11

Date learned: 11-27-1967

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THE NUMBERS 7 AND 11 ARE GOOD LUCK.

Submitter comment: WHERE LEARNED: DON'T REMEMBER.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; HAMBURG

Keyword(s): DICE

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.11

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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ELEVEN ROSES OF ONE COLOR AND ONE ROSE OF ANOTHER
COLOR MEANS I LOVE YOU WHEN SENT TO SOMEONE AS
A GIFT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE WOODS

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Sign Color
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.11

Date learned: 01-24-1971

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showing 10 items

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