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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BELIEF

A BABY BORN WITH ITS CAUL STILL INTACT IS A LUCKY BABY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT'S MOTHER TOLD HER THIS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MONROE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 10-07-1972

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GOOD LUCK

DURING THE SUMMER PUSSY WILLOWS WOULD BE PUT IN TO A VASE AND PUT
ON THE MANTLE. THIS WOULD BRING THE FAMILY GOOD LUCK

Submitter comment: INFORMANT'S FAMILY DID THIS WHEN SHE WAS SMALL

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Summer
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 10-03-1972

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GOOD LUCK

MY FATHER THOUGHT THAT A MAN WHO CARRIED A POCKET WATCH WAS A LUCKY
MAN

Submitter comment: THE POCKET WATCH WAS CONSIDERED A GOOD LUCK PIECE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 10-03-1972

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PROVERB

BETTER BORN LUCKY THAN RICH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ECONOMICS

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTRAST ; ELLIPSIS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Good luck
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RAINBOW BELIEF

IF YOU SEE A RAINBOW AND WALK TO THE END OF IT, YOU WILL
FIND A POT OF GOLD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control P890.7

Date learned: 11-00-1969

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WEDDING BELIEF

IN SMALL ITALIAN CITIES IT IS CONSIDERED
GOOD LUCK TO HAVE RAIN ON YOUR WEDDING DAY. IN LARGER ITALIAN
CITIES IT IS CONSIERED BAD LUCK WHEN IT RAINS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Superstition about good weather
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control P890.7

Date learned: 10-00-1969

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IT IS VERY IMPORANT TO A JEWISH STORE-OWNER THAT THE FIRST
CUSTOMER ON A MONDAY MORNING MUST BUY SOMETHING, REGARDLESS
OF THE PRICE. IF AND WHEN THE CUSTOMER DOES BUY SOMETHING, IT
MEANS GOOD LUCK AND GOOD SELLING THE REST OF THE WEEK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC ; SEMITISM

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business
BELIEF -- Good luck

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HOCKEY SUPERSTITION

HOCKEY GOALIES ALWAYS PUT THEIR LEFT LEG PAD ON FIRST
FOR GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

James Callow Keyword(s): SEQUENCE

Subject headings: 686 686.1
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Good luck
SPEECH -- Game Pastime Sport S555.580

Date learned: 01-22-1968

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TOMTEN

TOMTEN IS A VERY SMALL AND VERY OLD MAN WITH A LONG BEARD.
HE LIVES IN STABLES AND SHEDS ON THE FARMS AND HE PROTECTS
THE FARMER FROM ILLNESS AND MISFORTUNE AND GIVES THE FARMER
RICHES AND HAPPINESS. TOMTEN IS A VERY IRRITABLE OLD MAN
AND YOU HAVE TO MAKE A FUSS WITH HIM NOW AND THEN AND ON CHRISTMAS
EVE A PLATE WITH PORRIDGE MADE OF RICE IS PUT INTO THE STABLE
SO THE LITTLE MAN CAN HAVE IT. THE SWEDISH JULTOMTEN, FATHER
CHRISTMAS, COMES FROM THE LEGEND OF TOMTEN.

James Callow comment:

PUTTING OF RICE IN THE BARN FOR THE "NISSES"--CHRISTMAS
ELVES--IS A COMMON MOTIF IN SCANDINAVIAN FOLKTALES.
ODDLY, THOMPSON SHOWS NOTHING.--F. M. PAULSEN

Where learned: SWEDEN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Abnormal in size
BELIEF -- Good luck

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LUCK BELIEF

IF YOU SEE THE FIRST STAR OUT AT NIGHT, YOU WILL HAVE GOOD LUCK.

Submitter comment: MY FATHER WAS TOLD THIS BY HIS MOTHER WHEN HE WAS A BOY.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD BY ; FATHER

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 02-18-1970

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SPITTING FOR LUCK

FISH-WOMEN IN SOME COUNTRIES KEEP THE FIRST MONEY THEY COLLECT
AND OFTEN SPIT UPON IT FOR CONTINUED GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): SALESPERSON

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 11-10-1969

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RABBIT

ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH, IF A PERSON SAYS
RABBIT THE VERY FIRST THING IN THE MORNING, THE
REST OF THE MONTH WILL BE GOOD.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT ACTUALLY DOES THIS EACH MONTH, AND HAS
BEEN DOING THIS SINCE SHE WAS A CHILD. SHE LIVED
IN CALIFORNIA WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD.

Keyword(s): AWAKENING

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- February 1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- April 1 (April Fool's Day)
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- April 1 April Fools
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May 1 May Day
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- June 1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August 1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- September 1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F100
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- November 1 All Saints
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Month
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Good luck
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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SUPERSTITION

ON MAY DAY MORNING BEFORE THE SUN CAME OUT, THE WOMEN
OF THE HOUSE BROUGHT IN SOME FLOWERING SHRUB, THEN SHE KNEW
SHE WOULD HAVE A VERY LUCKY YEAR.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS PRACTICED BY THE INFORMANT'S MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May 1 May Day
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 11-18-1970

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GOOD LUCK GESTURE

WHEN YOU SEE YOUR FIRST ROBIN OF THE SEASON LICK YOUR THUMB,
TOUCH IT TO YOUR PALM OF YOUR HAND, AND THEN POUND THAT PALM
WITH YOUR FIST FOR GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Season
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Good luck
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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MOVING INTO A NEW HOME (ITALIAN)

TO HAVE GOOD LUCK IN A NEW HOUSE
THE FIRST THING YOU MUST COOK IS
FISH. ALSO YOUR FIRST MEAL MUST
INCLUDE FISH, A LOAF OF BREAD AND
THE PRESENCE OF A HOLY PICTURE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 01-00-1970

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BIRTHDAY CAKE

EATING THE FIRST SLICE OF YOUR BIRTHDAY CAKE WILL BRING
YOU GOOD LUCK AND MAKE YOUR WISH COME TRUE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TOLD AT INFORMANTS HOME ; LIVONIA

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Private birthday or anniversary
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 04-03-1970

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CHRISTMAS BELIEF

IF A MAN DOES NOT ENTER THE HOUSE FIRST ON CHRISTMAS
MORNING, THE HOUSE WILL BE PLAGUED WITH SICKNESS AND BAD
LUCK DURING THE COMING YEAR. (THE STRONGER THE MAN THE
BETTER THE GOOD LUCK). THIS CUSTOM IS PRACTICED BY POLISH-AMERICANS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME ; SOUTHFIELD

Keyword(s): FIRST FOOTING ; SEXIST

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 10-25-1970

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FIRST FOOTERS

THE FIRST ONE TO STEP FOOT INTO A HOUSE AFTER MIDNIGHT ON
NEW YEARS DAY BRINGS GOOD LUCK FOR THE FAMILY THE REST OF THE YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FIRST FOOTING

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 09-16-1969

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CLUMPS OF THREE

SUPERSTITION HAS IT THAT BAD LUCK OR GOOD FORTUNE, GOOD NEWS OR BAD
NEWS COMES IN SETS OF THREE. WHEN ONE HEARS OF TWO
CONSECUTIVE SITUATIONS A THIRD WILL MOST CERTAINLY APPEAR.

Submitter comment: NON-ETHNIC

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Keyword(s): THREE

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 09-30-1968

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MARCH 21- JUNE 20, COLOR, LUCK

ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE CHINESE NEW YEAR, THE CHILDREN RECEIVE RED
ENVELOPES WITH MONEY IN THEM. THE COLOR RED IS CONSIDERED TO BE
LUCKY.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT HAS COLLECTED RED ENVELOPES ON THE CHINESE NEW YEAR
EVER SINCE SHE WAS A CHILD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): GIFTGIVING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 21 equinox to June 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Winter
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 11-04-1971

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