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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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LUCK

NO NEW MOTHER SHOULD BE ALLOWED IN THE HOME FOR FORTY DAYS AFTER
GIVING BIRTH, FOR SHE IS UNBLESSED BY GOD, AND COULD BRING BAD
LUCK TO THE FAMILY OF THE HOME SHE VISITS.

Submitter comment: IT IS NOT ONLY BAD LUCK FOR ANYONE TO LET THIS WOMAN IN THEIR
HOUSE, BUT IT IS ALSO BAD LUCK FOR THE WOMAN TO EVEN LEAVE THE HOUSE.
SHE SHOULD BE HOME GUARDING THE CHILD, WHO IS ESPECIALLY SUSEPTIBLE
AT THIS TIME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40
BELIEF -- Bad luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.2
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.43

Date learned: 09-24-1972

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BELIEF CONCERNING DEATH

UKRANIANS BELIEVE THAT A PERSON'S SPIRIT STAYS ON EARTH FOR
9 DAYS AFTER DEATH. IT THEN TAKES THE SPIRIT 40 DAYS TO GET TO
HEAVEN. IT IS THOUGHT THAT THIS BELIEF AROSE FROM
THE 40 DAYS AFTER THE DEATH OF CHRIST, BEFORE HE AROSE.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBERS

Subject headings: 686 Ninths / Nine
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40

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BELIEF CONCERNING DEATH

UKRANIANS BELIEVE THAT A PERSONS SPIRIT STAYS ON EARTH FOR
NINE DAYS AFTER DEATH. IT THEN TAKES THE SPIRIT FORTY DAYS TO GET TO
HEAVEN. IT IS THOUGHT THAT THIS BELIEF REPRESENTS
THE FORTY DAYS AFTER CHRIST'S DEATH, BEFORE HE AROSE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): Christ ; DEATH ; NUMBER ; RELIGION ; SYMBOLISM ; UKRAINIAN

Subject headings: 686 Ninths / Nine
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40

Date learned: 03-26-1972

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NEW BORN CHILDREN

A WOMAN SHOULD NOT BE LEFT ALONE FOR 40 DAYS AFTER SHE DELIVERS OR
AN EVIL SPIRIT WILL COME AND STEAL THE CHILD AND EXCHANGE IT WITH ONE
OF HIS OWN. IF THIS HAPPENS THE PARENTS TAKE THE EVIL CHILD TO
THE CHURCH AND PLACE IT ON THE STEPS FOR ONE HALF HOUR AND GO IN
SIDE TO PRAY. WHEN THEY RETURN THEY HAVE THEIR OWN CHILD BACK

Submitter comment: CHANGELING

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Church
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40

Date learned: 10-00-1977

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EVIL EYE

40 BLACK SEEDS, 3 PINCHES OF SALT, 3 PINCHES OF SUGAR. PUT IN A POUCH
AND CARRY IT AROUND WITH YOU. PEOPLE WILL THINK YOU ARE SWEET AND
WON'T GIVE YOU THE EVIL EYE

Submitter comment: THIS IS GOOD FOR SOCIAL EVENTS

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40

Date learned: 10-00-1977

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LENT

LENT IS A CUSTOM OF THE CHURCH TO TAKE A BREAK. 40 DAYS WAS CHOSEN
BECAUSE IT WAS A GREAT NUMBER IN THE BIBLE.

Submitter comment: EXAMPLE OF THE NUMBER IS WHEN JESUS WENT INTO THE DESERT FOR 40 DAYS.
ANOTHER EXAMPLE IS WHEN THE VIRGIN HAD TO WAIT 40 DAYS AFTER
JESUS BIRTH TO BE PURIFIED IN THE CHURCH.

Where learned: DETROIT ; SAINT AMBROSE RECTORY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40

Date learned: 02-27-1979

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WHY DOGS HAVE WET NOSES

THE DOG HAS A WET NOSE BECAUSE HE WAS LATE BOARDING THE ARK AND
NOAH HAD NO PLACE TO KEEP HIM. THUS, FOR FORTY DAYS AND NIGHTS HE
HAD TO STAND ON DECK IN THE RAIN.

Where learned: DETROIT, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Characteristics of Animals
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40

Date learned: NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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BIRTH

IT IS A GREEK CUSTOM FOR A WOMAN NOT TO GO TO CHURCH FOR 40 DAYS
AFTER A BABY IS BORN. THIS IS BECAUSE SHE IS CONSIDERED "UNCLEAN".

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD ; COLUMBIA REALTY OFFICE

James Callow Keyword(s): CHURCHING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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GREEK FUNERAL SERVICE

A SPECIAL MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR DEPARTED SOULS IS CALLED MNEMOSIMON.
AFTER THE MASS IS READ, A DISH OF BOILED SWEETENED KERNELS AND FRUITS
CALLED KOLLIVA, IS DISTRIBUTED IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE DEAD. THE
KOLLIVA IS BLESSED BY THE PRIEST AND THEN EATEN AT THE CHURCH BY
FRIENDS AND RELATIVES. THE BOILED WHEAT GERM SYMBOLIZES RESURREC-
TION AND IS TRADITIONALLY OFFERED FORTY DAYS AFTER DEATH AND ONE
YEAR AFTER DEATH.
IT IS NOT SERVED AT ANY OTHER TIME.

Submitter comment: THE GREEK MEMORIAL SERVICE IS DIFFERENT THAN OURS, EXCEPT FOR THE
MEAL AFTERWARDS. THEIR MEAL CONSISTS OF DIFFERENT FOOD THAN OURS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): RESURRECTION SYMBOL

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40

Date learned: 00-00-1980

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UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX FUNERAL CUSTOM

FORTY DAYS AFTER THE DEATH OF A FAMILY MEMBER, SOME
UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX FAMILIES PREPARE A TRADITIONAL MEAL.
FOR EACH INVITED GUEST, A SMALL, ROUND BREAD CALLED A
PASKA IS BAKED. A CANDLE IS PLACED IN THE CENTER OF THE
BREAD. THE FORTY DAYS AND THE CANDLE BOTH ARE SYMBOLIC
OF CHRIST AND HIS ASCENSION INTO HEAVEN FORTY DAYS AFTER
EASTER.

Submitter comment: MANY BYZANTINE RITE CATHOLICS ARE BEGINNING TO CELEBRATE
THE FORTY DAY ANNIVERSARY WITH A MASS FOR THE DECEASED.

Where learned: CANADA ; ALBERTA ; WILLINGDON

Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Private birthday or anniversary
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Ascension Day
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40

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FISH IS ALWAYS SERVED AT THE MEAL FOLLOWING A FUNERAL
SERVICE AND ALSO AT THE MEMORIAL SERVICE FORTY DAYS LATER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
Food Drink -- Meat Fish and other animal life related to water
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40

Date learned: 00-00-1950

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WHERE THE WIND IS AT SUNRISE ON NEW YEAR'S MORNING, IT WILL BE
MOST OF THE TIME FOR THE NEXT FORTY MORNINGS.

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; HERNDON

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through A time segment or a direction
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 07-20-1968

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IF IT RAINS ON JULY 15TH, ST. SWITHIN'S DAY, IT WILL RAIN
EVERY DAY FOR THE NEXT FORTY DAYS.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; PULASKI

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 15
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 08-11-1968

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IF A GROUNDHOG SEES HIS SHADOW ON FEBRUARY 2, HE GOES INTO
THE GROUND FOR FORTY DAYS OF BAD WEATHER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- February 2 Candlemas Groundhog Day
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40

Date learned: 11-11-1973

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showing 14 items

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