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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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EASTER EGG CRACK

A TRADITION OF THE GREEKS AT EASTER IS THE EGG CRACK. EVERYONE GETS
A RED EGG WHICH THEY HIT AGAINST ANOTHER. IF ONE CRACKS, HE IS OUT
AND THE ONE THAT REMAINS WHOLE IS KEPT FOR SEVEN YEARS, AND
THEN IT CAN BE BROKEN. IT MUST BE A RED EGG BECAUSE RED REPRESENTS
CHRIST'S BLOOD AND THE CRACK REPRESENTS COMING OUT OF SORROW OF HIS
DEATH AND THE JOY OF HIS RISING. THIS TRADITION GOES BACK TO THE DAYS
OF CHRIST.

Submitter comment: WHEN MY NEIGHBOR TOLD ME THIS STORY, I THOUGHT THAT IT WAS A TERRIFIC
ONE. IT HAD SO MUCH MEANING TO IT. SHE REMEMBERED DOING IT WHEN SHE
WAS A CHILD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
BELIEF -- P681 P681.1
BELIEF -- Color

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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MOTHER'S DAY

GOING TO MASS ON MOTHER'S DAY AT OUR POLISH
CHURCH, ALL THE MOTHERS WOULD BE WEARING
FLOWERS, ESPECIALLY CARNATIONS. THERE WAS
A SIGNIFICANCE TO THE COLOR OF THE CARNATION
FOR THE MOTHERS: IF A MOTHER'S OWN MOTHER AND
MOTHER-IN-LAW WERE ALIVE, SHE WOULD WEAR A
RED FLOWER, IF ONE OF THEM HAD DIED, SHE WOULD
WEAR A PINK FLOWER, AND IF BOTH HER MOTHERS
HAD DIED, SHE WOULD WEAR A WHITE FLOWER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church

Date learned: 00-00-1950

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Torch Night

At Dominican High School in Detroit (all female), one of the
traditions is "Torch Night." When a student is a sophomore, a
junior picks her as her "Torch Night Partner," or "Torchie." The
two students spend the next year getting to know each other and
becoming closer. The next year, when the junior (who is now a
senior) is ready to graduate, there is a night called "Torch
Night." It is held in the auditorium and the partners stand next
to each other. There are readings and speeches, and then the
senior passes a votive--the torch-- to the junior, thereby passing
on the torch of leading the school. The junior, in turn, gives her
senior partner a rose as a promise to her to carry on the torch and
also as a goodbye gift of love. This has been a tradition at
Dominican High School for many years. As each partner passes on
the torch, there remains a connection that was begun many years
before.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School

Date learned: 00-00-1984

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