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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SPRING CUSTOM __ PALM SUNDAY

THE UKRANIAN PEOPLE USED TO BLESS PUSSY WILLOWS INSTEAD OF PALMS
AFTER THE PUSSY WILLOWS WERE BLESSED AT CHURCH THEY WOULD BE TAKEN
HOME BY EACH FAMILY. IN THE HOME THEY WERE PLACED ABOVE A HOLY
PICTURE. AT THE END OF THE DAY ALL THE OLD PUSSY WILLOWS WERE
BURNED. THIS DAY WAS SOMETIMES CALLED WILLOW SUNDAY. WILLOWS
WERE USED BECAUSE PALMS WERE COSTLY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT KNEW OF THIS PRACTICE THROUGH A FRIEND AT THE UNIVERSITY
OF MICHIGAN. HIS NAME IS SMENA RAKOVSKEY.

Where learned: HOME ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): RELIGIOUS CUSTOM ; WILLOW

Subject headings: 663 Palm Sunday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Tuesday

Date learned: 10-25-1971

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SWITCHING DAY

ON THE DAY AFTER EASTER POLISH GIRLS STAY INSIDE IF THEY
KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR THEM. THE BOYS ARE OUT TO GET THEM WITH WATER
BALLOONS, EGGS, NUTS AND VARIOUS OTHER GOODIES. SOMETIMES IN THE
MORNING PARENTS WILL LET NEIGHBORHOOD BOYS IN, AND THEY QUIETLY MAKE
WAY TO THE DAUGHTER'S BEDROOM WHERE SHE SLEEPS, AND
BEGIN TO "SWITCH" THE FEET WITH LIMBS OF PUSSY WILLOW
TREES; THEY MAY ALSO SPRINKLE WATER ON THE GIRLS. THIS CUSTOM IS
DERIVED FROM THE ACTION OF LONG AGO
WHEN ST. STEPHEN WAS STONED THE DAY AFTER
EASTER. HOWEVER, THE BOYS MUST BEWARE, FOR TUESDAY IS REVENGE
DAY AND THE GIRLS ARE OUT TO GET THEM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HARPER WOODS

Keyword(s): DYNGUS DAY ; RITUAL WHIPPING ; WATER ; WILLOW

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Tuesday Revenge Day

Date learned: 11-22-1971

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POLISH CUSTOM ON EASTER MONDAY--SWITCH DAY

MY MOTHER, WHO WAS BORN AND REARED IN HAMTRAMCK, MICHIGAN, SAID
IT WAS THE CUSTOM FIFTY YEARS AGO (C. 1915) FOR THE BOYS IN THE
NEIGHBORHOOD TO GET UP REAL EARLY ON THE MONDAY FOLLOWING EASTER
SUNDAY AND VISIT THE HOMES OF THE GIRLS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.
SINCE THERE WAS NO SCHOOL THAT DAY THE GIRLS WOULD
BE TRYING TO SLEEP IN. THE BOYS
ALWAYS IN GROUPS OF THREE OR FOUR WOULD BE ADMITTED INTO THE HOUSE
AND IF ANY GIRLS WERE STILL IN BED THEY WOULD BE CONDUCTED, BY THE
GIRLS' MOTHER TO THE BEDROOM WHERE AMIDST MUCH PROTEST, EITHER
FEIGNED OR ACTUAL, THEY BEAT THE GIRLS ABOUT THE FEET AND ANKLES.
THEIR WEAPONS FOR THIS TASK WOULD BE WILLOW SWITCHES WHICH
WERE SOFT AND GREEN. APPARENTLY NO ONE WAS EVER HURT PHYSICALLY
BUT THE SCENE WAS USUALLY QUITE WILD. THE BOYS WOULD THEN STAY AND HAVE
BREAKFAST, USUALLY HAM OR KIELBASA LEFT OVER FROM THE PREVIOUS DAY.

Submitter comment:

(RITES OF LUPERCAL IN "JULIUS CAESAR"??)

Data entry tech comment:

Informant is collector's mother.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): DYNGUS DAY ; RITUAL WHIPPING ; WILLOW

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus

Date learned: 00-00-1946

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