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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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NEW YEARS'S CUSTOM

ON NEW YEAR'S A BUNCH OF KIDS KNOCKED ON THE DOOR SHOUTING LET THE
NEW YEAR IN. RUN AROUND THE TABLE THREE TIMES SHOUTING LET THE NEW
YEAR IN AND GET MONEY ON WAY OUT - GO TO THE NEXT HOUSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): VISITING AND GIFT-GIVING ON NEW YEAR'S.

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

Date learned: 11-30-1972

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IF YOU WANT TO KEEP A PERSON OUT OF YOUR HOUSE, THROW SOME SALT
BEHIND THEM WHEN THEY LEAVE THE HOUSE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): MAGICAL CONTROL OF WOULD-BE VISITORS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 10-00-1974

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CUSTOM

THE NEW YEAR IS CELEBRATED FOR 7 DAYS IN JAPAN. DURING THIS TIME,
GREETING CALLS ARE MADE ON FAMILY FRIENDS, AND EACH ENTERTAINS THE
OTHER WITH ELABORATE AND TRADITIONAL NEW YEAR DISHES WHICH ARE ALL
PREPARED BY THE NEW YEAR AND CONTAINED IN TRADITIONAL LACQUERED
BOXES. LITTLE BOYS FLY PAINTED KITES; GIRLS PLAY BATTLEDORE AND
SHUTTLECOCK, WHILE AT SOCIAL GATHERINGS (WHERE BOYS AND GIRLS,
UNTIL THE AMERICAN OCCUPATION, PLAYED TOGETHER IN AN OTHERWISE
SEGREGATED SOCIETY) POEM CARD GAMES ARE PLAYED.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT GREW UP IN JAPAN BEFORE THE END OF WORLD WAR II.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): VISITING

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- 39815
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- 39816
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 4
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 5
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 7
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 F642.101
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: 08-01-1964

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VICTORY TABLE - CHRISTMAS DAY

ON CHRISTMAS DAY, MY MOTHER INSISTS WE STAY AT HOME. SHE
FIRMLY BELIEVES THAT THIS IS A DAY FOR FAMILIES TO BE TOGETHER
AND THAT IT IS NO TIME TO GO VISITING.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAID THAT HER MOTHER LEARNED THIS CUSTOM FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; DALLAS ; TOLD IN

Keyword(s): VISITING TABU

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

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RUSSIAN CHRISTMAS CUSTOMS

WHEN I WAS STILL IN SCHOOL WE HAD TWO WEEKS VACATION
FOR CHRISTMAS. GOVERNMENT OFFICES CLOSED FOR A WHOLE
WEEK. ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS ALL THE CHILDREN
AND GRANDCHILDREN VISITED THEIR GRANDPARENTS' HOUSE.
MOST OF THE PEOPLE DIDN'T MOVE MUCH. MANY OF THEM WERE
BORN, LIVED AND DIED IN THE SAME VILLAGE OR CITY. THEY
OFTEN HAD EIGHT TO FOURTEEN CHILDREN. IT WAS NOT
UNUSUAL TO HAVE TWENTY TO THIRTY PEOPLE IN THE HOUSE
AT THE SAME TIME. THE TABLES WERE LADEN WITH FOOD
FOR A WHOLE WEEK. ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS THE
MEN WENT FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE OF RELATIONS AND FRIENDS
FOR A DRINK OF VODKA AND SOME FOOD. THE WOMEN STAYED
HOME TO GREET THE GUESTS. ON THE THIRD AND FOURTH DAYS
OF CHRISTMAS PEOPLE WENT TO SEE THEIR BEST FRIENDS.
THEY HAD DINNER AND DRINKS AND ENDED UP SINGING AND
DANCING RUSSIAN FOLK DANCES. WE HAD NO CARS SO EVERYONE
GOT HOME SAFELY. ON THE FIFTH AND SIXTH DAYS OF
CHRISTMAS EVERYONE RESTED.

Submitter comment: THESE CUSTUMS TOOK PLACE BEFORE THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Farmington Hills

James Callow Keyword(s): VISITING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Christmas Season See F645.2 for Advent Season.

Date learned: 12-00-1983

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RUSSIAN NEW YEAR'S EVE CUSTUMS

ON NEW YEAR'S EVE CHILDREN AND EVEN ADULTS PUT ON
UNUSUAL OR FUNNY COSTUMES AND WENT FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE
TO HAVE FUN. IT IS A LOT LIKE HALLOWEEN IN THE UNITED
STATES. ALL THIS IS FORGOTTEN NOW.
ALSO ON THIS EVENING, TEENAGE GIRLS WOULD GO OUTSIDE
BETWEEN TEN AND ELEVEN O'CLOCK. A GIRL WOULD ASK THE FIRST
MAN SHE SEES HIS FIRST NAME AND THIS WOULD BE THE NAME
OF HER FUTURE HUSBAND.
ALSO ON NEW YEAR'S EVE, SOME TEENAGE GIRLS WOULD PUT
A LARGE MIRROR IN FRONT OF THE DRESSER MIRROR FACE
TO FACE. THEN THEY PUT THE LIGHTS OUT AND PUT A CANDLE
ON EACH SIDE OF THE FIRST MIRROR. THEN A GIRL LOOKED
OVER ONE MIRROR AT THE OTHER IN SUCH A WAY THAT SHE
SEES A CORRIDOR. BY CONSTANTLY STARING AND USING THE
IMAGINATION SHE BEGINS TO SEE SOME SHADOWS, THEN A FORM,
AND FINALLY SHE SEES A BOYFRIEND OF HERS. THIS WILL BE
THE ONE SHE WILL MARRY. THE OTHER GIRLS TAKE THEIR
TURNS ALSO.

Submitter comment: THESE CUSTUMS TOOK PLACE BEFORE THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Farmington Hills

James Callow Keyword(s): VISITING

Subject headings: Observation
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 12-00-1983

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IF YOU RECEIVE COMPANY AND YOU REALLY DON'T WANT TO SEE THAT PERSON
PUT A SPRINKLE OF SALT IN THEIR BEVERAGE AND THEY WILL BE LEAVING
SHORTLY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN

Keyword(s): VISITORS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

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If you don't care for a person, and they come to your house
and you never want them to return to your home again. You should
sprinkle salt down and sweep it out the front door.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): Visitor

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Wall Partition Door Window
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Conversions
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00-00-1990

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IF YOU DROP A FORK, A LADY WILL COME.
IF YOU DROP A KNIFE, A MAN WILL COME.
IF YOU DROP A SPOON, A CHILD WILL COME.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AT HOME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): COMPANY VISITING

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Use of Object Domestic object, wax, needle, dishware

Date learned: 02-14-1967

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Proverb

Fish and visitors stink after three days.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [V700] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; FISH ; Maxim ; PROVERB ; VERSE ; VISITORS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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Vocabulary

Visiting Mrs. Murphy is another way of saying going to the restroom.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): BATHROOM ; EUPHEMISM ; Murphy ; Nickname ; Restroom ; VISITING ; Vocabulary

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary

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IF A SMALL CHILD NOT OLD ENOUGH TO, STARTS SWEEPING,
SOMEONE'LL COME VISITING.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; CORNERSVILLE

Keyword(s): AGE ; CHILD ; OMEN ; SIGN ; Sweep ; Visit

James Callow Keyword(s): AGE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 00001972-00001973 (ASSUMED)

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IF YOUR NOSE ITCHES, SOMEONE IS COMING TO VISIT.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Itches ; NOSE ; Visit

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions Itching nose

Date learned: 06-25-1973

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IF YOU DROP A KNIFE A MAN WIL COME TO VISIT.
IF YOU DROP A SPOON, A WOMAN WILL COME TO VISIT.
IF YOU DROP A FORK, A CHILD WILL COME TO VISIT.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): CHILD ; Company ; Fork ; KNIFE ; Man ; Signs ; Silverware ; Spoon ; SUPERSTITION ; Visit ; Woman

Subject headings: Prediction / Divination

Date learned: 03-00-1972

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BELIEF ABOUT CRIMINALS

A CRIMINAL ALWAYS RETURNS TO THE SCENE OF THE CRIME.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; CRIME ; Criminal ; Habit ; Revisit

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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HOUSE BELIEF

IF A GUEST COMES INTO THE HOUSE BY THE FRONT DOOR
THEY SHOULD LEAVE THE SAME WAY, OTHERWISE, YOU WILL SOON HAVE MORE
COMPANY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Company ; Entrance ; Exit ; Guests ; HOSPITALITY ; SUPERSTITION ; VISITORS

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; POSITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 12-00-1969

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Don't Allow

DON'T ALLOW A LADY TO BE THE FIRST TO COME TO YOUR HOUSE ON NEW
YEAR'S DAY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; COLUMBIA

Keyword(s): Guest ; Lady ; New Year ; SEXISM ; Visitor ; Woman

James Callow Keyword(s): SEXISM

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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BELIEF-DAILY LIFE

IF YOUR LEFT PALM ITCHES, YOU WILL RECEIVE A LETTER.

Submitter comment:

LEARNED FROM HER SCHOOL FRIENDS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: INDIANA ; South Bend

Keyword(s): Hand ; ITCH ; Palm ; PREDICTION ; SIGN ; SYMBOL ; Visitor

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; POSITION

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions Itching hands and feet

Date learned: 11-23-1967

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showing 18 items

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