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FUNERAL LORE

COUNT THE CARS IN A FUNERAL PROCESSION IS BAD LUCK

Where learned: CALIFORNIA ; MONROVIA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: CA00001935

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BELIEFS

TO COUNT YOUR TEETH IS A SIGN OF YOUR TEETH ROTTEN OUT QUICKER.

Where learned: CALIFORNIA ; MONROVIA

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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BRIDAL SHOWER SUPERSTITION

FOR EVERY RIBBON THAT YOU CUT WITH SCISSORS ON A SHOWER GIFT, YOU
WILL HAVE A BABY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Farmington Hills

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: CA0001978

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PREDICTING HOW MANY CHILDREN A FUTURE BRIDE WILL HAVE.
AT A BRIDAL SHOWER, THE NUMBER OF RIBBONS ON THE PRESENTS, BROKEN
PREDICTS THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN SHE WILL HAVE

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

Keyword(s): Babies ; BELIEF ; Bride ; CHILDREN ; CUSTOM ; FAMILY ; GAME ; GIFT ; MARRIAGE ; Newlyweds ; Offspring ; PREDICTION ; Ribbon

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Breaking of
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Use of Object Occasions Events
BELIEF -- Use of object for determining number of children or sex of unborn

Date learned: 04-00-1980

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AT A WEDDING SHOWER, THE NUMBER OF RIBBONS THE BRIDE-TO-BE BREAKS
WHILE OPENING HER GIFTS SHOWS THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN SHE WILL HAVE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

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WEDDING SHOWER CUSTOMS AND SUPERSTITIONS

AT WEDDING SHOWERS, THE RIBBONS AND BOWS ARE COLLECTED FROM THE
GIFTS AND SAVED BY MAKING A SLIT IN A PAPER PLATE AND INSERTING
THEM INTO PLACE. WHEN THE BRIDE-TO-BE OPENS HER GIFTS, SHE SHOULD
NOT BREAK, CUT OR TEAR THE RIBBONS. THE NUMBER SHE BREAKS IS AN
INDICATOR OF THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN SHE WILL CONCEIVE. A
VARIATION IS THE NUMBER OF BOWS BROKEN IS EQUAL TO THE NUMBER OF
YEARS SHE WILL WAIT TO HAVE HER FIRST BABY.

Submitter comment: THE CUSTOM OF SAVING RIBBONS WAS FIRST HEARD BY THE COLLECTOR IN
1976. IT IS A RITE OF PASSAGE CEREMONY IN WHICH THE BRIDE-TO-BE
CHANGES FROM SINGLE TO MARRIED LIFE. HERE TWO VARIATIONS CAN BE
ILLUSTRATED. EACH IS DIFFERENT ALTHOUGH THE MAIN IDEA IS SIMILAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; USA ; SOUTHGATE

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Bows
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 06-00-1978 ; 10-00-1976

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MNEMONIC DEVICE

AN EASY WAY TO REMEMBER HOW MANY DAYS ARE IN EACH MONTH IS TO
COUNT ON ONE'S KNUCKLES. MONTHS WITH THIRTY ONE DAYS LIE ON THE
TOP OF THE KNUCKLE. MONTHS WITH THIRTY DAYS (29 FOR FEB.) WILL FALL
BETWEEN KNUCKLES. FOR EXAMPLE, JAN. IS ON TOP (HAS 31 DAYS) AND
FEB. IS IN BETWEEN (HAS 29 DAYS) ETC.

Submitter comment: ALTHOUGH THIS TECHNICALLY IS NOT A MNEMONIC DEVICE SINCE NO
SPEAKING IS INVOLVED, IT IS A SIMPLE TASK USED TO HELP ONE REMEMBER.
WHEN THE COLLECTOR TRIED IT, IT WORKED WITHOUT FLAW IF YOU START
AT THE FIRST KNUCKLE WHEN PROCEEDING FROM JULY TO AUGUST.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Month
BELIEF -- Number
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 10-00-1980

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO COUNT THE CARS IN A FUNERAL PROCESSION BECAUSE YOU
COUNT SOMEONE OUT OF YOUR FAMILY

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 11-22-1980

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GEORGIA WEDDING SUPERSTITION

"WHEN A BRIDE-TO-BE WAS OPENING HER GIFTS AT THE BRIDAL SHOWER,
THE NUMBER OF RIBBONS SHE BROKE MEANT THAT'S HOW MANY CHILDREN
SHE WAS GOING TO HAVE".

Where learned: OHIO ; FLORIDA ; ALLIANCE ; EUSTIS

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: 11-13-1980 ; 00001920S

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ON THEIR BIRTHDAY, PEOPLE GET A SPANKING; ONE
SPANK FOR EACH YEAR THEY HAVE BEEN ALIVE AND THEN
A PINCH TO GROW AN INCH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Private birthday or anniversary
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: 05-12-1965

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IF YOU COUNT THE CARS IN A FUNERAL PROCESSION, IT
WILL BRING DEATH.

Submitter comment: MRS. COLEMAN LEARNED THIS AS A CHILD IN HER
NEIGHBORHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE PARK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 10-13-1963

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WHEN PEOPLE WERE BURIED FROM HOME, A WREATH WAS PLACED
ON THE FRONT DOOR. IF YOU COUNTED THE MARKS WHERE
THE WREATH WAS HUNG FROM, YOU WOULD EITHER HAVE
BAD LUCK OR THERE WOULD BE ANOTHER DEATH.

Submitter comment: MRS. MUGGLETON LEARNED THIS AS A CHILD.

Where learned: TELEPHONE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 11-02-1963

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PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH CUSTOM

WHEN YOU HAVE COMPANY FOR DINNER, YOU MUST PUT SEVEN
SWEETS AND SEVEN SOURS ON THE TABLE. USUALLY, THE
GUESTS WILL COUNT TO SEE IF THEY'RE ALL THERE AND
IF NOT, HE CHIDES, IN A FRIENDLY WAY, THE HOSTESS FOR
FORGETTING.

Submitter comment: HEARD IN STEELTON, PENNSYLVANIA AROUND 1920.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Home
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: 01-12-1964

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BAD LUCK OMEN

WHEN AT A BRIDAL SHOWER, HOWEVER MANY BOWS THE BRIDE-TO-BE BREAKS,
THATHS HOW MANY CHILDREN SHE WILL HAVE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Breaking of
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: 00-00-1947

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WEATHER BELIEF

IF THERE IS A RING AROUND THE MOON, IT WILL RAIN WITHIN THE
SAME NUMBER OF DAYS AS THERE ARE STARS WITHIN THE RING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Star
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control

Date learned: 00001970S

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JUMP ROPE GAME

CINDERELLA DRESSED IN YELLOW WENT UP STAIRS TO KISS A FELLOW AND
MADE A MISTAKE AND KISSED A SNAKE HOW MANY DOCTORS DID IT TAKE,
1, 2, 3, .....

Where learned: DETROIT ; NEW CENTER ACADEMY SCHOOL

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: 00-00-1981

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FEAST OF ST. GEORGE-APRIL 23 BYZANTINE RITE

THE USUAL PICTURE OF ST. GEORGE HAS HIM PICTURED ON A
HORSE, WITH A SPEAR IN HIS HAND. HE IS KILLING A DRAGON
WHICH IS SYMBOLIC OF PAGANISM. THE DEW OF THE FEAST DAY
IS CONSIDERED MIRACULOUS AND IF GATHERED BEFORE SUNRISE,
IT SHOULD HEAL ANY DISEASE OF THE EYES. ANOTHER COMMON
EVENT FOR THE DAY IS A PROCESSION AROUND THE FIELD WITH
RELIGIOUS SERVICES. THE PRAYERS ARE PETITIONS FOR A GOOD
HARVEST. ALSO ON THIS DAY, YOUNG GIRLS TRY TO PREDICT THEIR
MARRIAGE DATE. THEY ASK THE CUCKOO HOW LONG BEFORE THEY WILL
MARRY. IF THE CUCKOO STOPS COOING AT THE END OF THE QUESTION
SHE WILL MARRY BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR. IF IT BEGINS
COOING, THE NUMBER OF TIMES IT SINGS WILL BE THE NUMBER OF
YEARS BEFORE HER MARRIAGE.

Submitter comment: SOME OF THESE CUSTOMS ARE BEGINNING TO DIMINISH IN THE
UNITED STATES.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Keyword(s): ANIMALS

Subject headings: Observation
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- April 23
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Remedy
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 00001950S

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THE NUMBER OF RIBBONS A GIRL BREAKS AT HER WEDDING SHOWER IS THE
NUMBER OF CHILDREN SHE AND HER HUSBAND WILL HAVE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; EAST DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Marriage Breaking of
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: 00001970S

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IF YOU GRADUATE IN A CERTAIN YEAR YOU MUST HAVE YOUR CLASS RING
TURNED THAT NUMBER OF TIMES TO INSURE GOOD LUCK. EX- 1983-83 TURNS
BY 83 PEOPLE.

Submitter comment: THE RING SHOULD BE TURNED CLOCKWISE FROM THE WEARERS POINT OF VIEW.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; MILLINGTON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Good luck Jewelry (gems, rings, etc.)
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00-00-1978

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IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW MANY KIDS YOU WILL HAVE
YOU CAN FIND OUT BY COUNTING THE WHITE LINES IN
YOUR FINGER-NAILS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs

Date learned: 04-00-1983

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