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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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GOOD LUCK AT THE CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER

IT IS GOOD LUCK TO SEAT AN ODD NUMBER OF PEOPLE FOR THE
CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; holiday ; LUCK ; SUPERSTITION ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.4
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas
BELIEF -- Number Odd number (not specific)

Date learned: 03-24-1970

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ITALIAN JOKE

TWO ITALIANS WERE GOING TO ATLANTIC CITY TO TAKE A BATH FOR THE FIRST
TIME. ONE SAID TO THE OTHER: "SYLVIO, I BET I AM DIRTIER THAN YOU."
SYLVIO REPLIED: "YOU SHOULD BE. AREN'T YOU THREE YEARS OLDER?"

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
ITAL

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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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RIDDLE QUESTION

HOW DO YOU SPELL HARD WATER IN THREE LETTERS?
ICE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): SPELLING

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 09-17-1969

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SUPERSTITION FOR GOOD LUCK

IN ORDER TO ENSURE GOOD LUCK FOR THE COMING YEAR YOU SHOULD EAT
CABBAGE FOR DINNER ON NEW YEAR'S DAY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): Cabbage ; Consume ; CUSTOM ; FOOD ; LUCK ; Meal ; New Years ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Good luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

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MACKEY'S IRISH POTATO SOUP

BOIL FOR THREE HOURS - ONE HAM BONE IN THREE QUARTS OF
WATER. REMOVE BONE AND ADD; 8-10 POTATOES DICED FINE,
4 STALKS OF CELERY DICED FINE, 1 GRATED CARROT,
3 SPRIGS OF FRESH PARSLEY DICED FINE, 1/2 TEASPOON
OF CELERY SALT, 1 TEASPOON OF TABLE SALT, 1/4 TEASPOON
FRESH PEPPER, 1/4 POUND OF BUTTER. SIMMER TWO MORE
HOURS WITH THE LID ON, STIRRING FREQUENTLY.

Submitter comment: UPON SERVING, THE COOK ALWAYS HAS A LITTLE SAYING
WHICH GOES LIKE THIS. "WE'VE GOT SOME GOOD NEWS
AND SOME BAD NEWS. FIRST THE BAD NEWS. ALL
WE HAVE FOR DINNER IS POTATO SOUP. NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS.
THERE IS PLENTY OF IT."

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): IRISH RECIPE

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Mixed preparation in liquid

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ST. NICHOLAS DAY: ALLGAU BAVARIA, GERMANY

ABOUT TWO WEEKS BEFORE ST. NICHOLAS DAY, THE BAD NICHOLAS WOULD
SHOW UP. AFTER THE SUN WOULD SET (7:00 OR 7:30 P.M.), THE BAD
NICHOLAS WOULD COME THROUGH THE TOWN RATTLING CHAINS ON THE SHUTTERS
AND MAKING OTHER WEIRD NOISES.
ON THE EVE OF ST. NICHOLAS DAY, THE BAD NICHOLAS WOULD FINALLY MAKE
HIS APPEARANCE. HE WOULD BE WEARING RAGS, OLD BOOTS AND A LONG,
LONG BEARD. HE RESEMBLED A SCARECROW.
THE BAD NICHOLAS WOULD COME INTO EACH HOME AND ASK THE CHILDREN
IF THEY WERE GOOD OR BAD. HE WOULD HAVE THE CHILDREN SO SCARED,
THEY WOULD SOMETIMES GET ON THEIR KNEES AND PRAY.
AFTER THE BAD NICHOLAS WOULD LEAVE, THE CHILDREN WOULD HURRY TO GET
READY FOR THE COMING OF THE GOOD NICHOLAS. EACH CHILD WOULD GET A
DISH AND PUT IT ON THE TABLE WITH HIS NAME IN FRONT OF HIS DISH.
THEN THE CHILDREN WOULD GO TO BED.
ABOUT 4:30 A.M. THE CHILDREN WOULD GET UP AND LOOK FOR THE GIFTS
THE GOOD NICHOLAS BROUGHT THEM. EACH DISH WOULD BE FILLED WITH
APPLES, WALNUTS, LEBKUCHEN AND A TOY (HORSE OR WAGON FOR A BOY;
DOLL FOR A GIRL). ALL THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY WITH THEIR TOYS UNTIL
IT WAS TIME FOR SCHOOL.
NEEDLESS TO SAY, EVERYONE WAS VERY HAPPY THAT DAY.

Data entry tech comment: ST. NICHOLAS DAY, DEC. 6.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- September 23 equinox to December 20 Also used for Advent.

Date learned: 10-10-1968

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HALLOWEEN CUSTOM (POLAND)

HALLOWEEN NIGHT, THE OLDER PEOPLE WENT TO HEAR MASS. THE POOR
PEOPLE OF THE VILLAGE WOULD SIT ON THE CHURCH STEPS AND AS THE
VILLAGE PEOPLE PASSED THEM, THEY GAVE THEM SOME MONEY AND ASKED THEM
TO SAY A PRAYER FOR A DEPARTED LOVED ONE,

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): BEGGING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: NO DATE INDICATED.

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NO ONE WORKS ON AUGUST 15TH. THEY TAKE HORSES INTO THE SEA AND
SPRINKLE THEIR WAGONS WITH SEA WATER BECAUSE THIS IS A HOLY DAY.
IT BRINGS GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August 15 Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

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(EVE OF JUNE 24)

ON THE EVE OF THE FEAST OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST (JUNE) UKRAINIAN
VILLAGE GIRLS WEAVE WREATHS. THEY TAKE THEM DOWN TO THE RIVER,
CREEK OR LAKE CLOSE BY, PUT LIGHTED CANDLES IN THEM AND PLACE THEM
ON THE WATER. IF THE WREATH SINKS WITH THE CANDLES LIGHTED,
MISFORTUNE WILL BEFALL HER. THE BOYS FROM THE AREA GATHER ON THE
OPPOSITE SHORE, OR COME OUT IN BOATS TO GATHER THE WREATHS.
THE GIRL WHOSE WREATH HE PICKS UP WILL BE HIS FUTURE WIFE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- June 23
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 10-00-1970

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FEAST OF ST. JOHN (EVE OF JUNE 24)

ON THE EVE OF THE FEAST OF JOHN THE BAPTIST (JUNE) THE YOUNG PEOPLE
GET TOGETHER AND BUILD A LARGE BONFIRE. THERE IS MUCH SINGING AND
DANCING. THEN THE BOYS TAKE TURNS JUMPING OVER THE FIRE. THIS IS
SUPPOSED TO CLEANSE THEM FROM ALL EVIL. (UKRAINIAN)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): PURIFICATION THROUGH FIRE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- June 23

Date learned: 10-00-1970

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FEAST OF JORDAN

THE UKRAINIANS CELEBRATE THE FEAST OF JORDAN ( JANUARY 19 AND 20 BY
JULIAN CALENDAR ) BY AN IMPRESSIVE CHURCH SERVICE AND THE BLESSING
OF WATER, COMMEMORATING THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST IN THE JORDAN RIVER BY
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST. IN UKRAINE, THIS CEREMONY IS HELD ON A
RIVER OR CREEK WHERE A LARGE CROSS OF ICE IS SET UP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 19
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 20

Date learned: 10-00-1970

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FROM THE MIRROR LITTLE WILLIE
LICKED THE MERCURY RIGHT OFF,
THINKING IN HIS CHILDISH ERROR
IT WOULD CURE HIS WHOOPING COUGH.

AT THE FUNERAL WILLIE'S MOTHER
LAUGHING SAID TO MRS. BROWN,
"TWAS A CHILLY DAY FOR WILLIE
WHEN THE MERCURY WENT DOWN."

"HA, HA, HA," SAID WILLIE'S MOTHER.
"TEE, HEE, HEE," SAID MRS. BROWN,
"TWAS A CHILLY DAY FOR WILLIE
WHEN THE MERCURY WENT DOWN."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN ; INFORMANT'S HOME

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Good humor Jest

Date learned: 01-20-1970

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Proverb

TIME AND TIDE WAIT FOR NO MAN

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT HEARD THIS MANY TIMES ON THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED
STATES IN THE 1940S

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

James Callow Keyword(s): ALLITERATION ASSONANCE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 09-14-1972

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

MANY POLISH PEOPLE EAT ONLY CERTAIN FOODS ON CHRISTMAS EVE (DEC. 24).
THESE FOODS CONSISTS (CONSIST) OF FISH, CHEESE, EGGS, BREAD,
FRUIT, SALT AND PEPPER, AND MILK.

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT PRACTICES THIS CUSTOM EVERY YEAR.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; FOOD ; holiday ; POLISH ; tradition

Subject headings: 122 Christmas

Date learned: 11-07-1971

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

AT CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER, A BUNDLE OF HAY IS PUT UNDER THE TABLE.
 

Submitter comment:

This practice took place when informant lived on her parents' farm located near Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw

Date learned: 02-22-1970

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THOSE WHO ARE PRONE TO TELL ALL THEY KNOW GENERALLY TELL
MORE THAN THEY KNOW.

Where learned: HOME ; WARREN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 03-07-1970

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Entry filtered.

PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

THE NEARER THE BONE THE SWEETER THE MEAT

Where learned: WARREN ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

James Callow Keyword(s): SEXUAL INTERCOURSE ; THINNESS

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Meat
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00001930S

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Entry filtered.

WHY DID THE MORON PEEL ONIONS ON THE BRIDGE?
HE WANTED TO SEE THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): WATER

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 10-30-1969

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Entry filtered.

WHY DID THE MORON THROW THE BUTTER OUT THE WINDOW?
HE WANTED TO SEE THE BUTTER FLY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): ANIMAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 10-01-1969

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