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SUPERSTITION

ONE OF THE MOST COMMON KNOWLEDGE SUPERSTITIONS ABOUT BAD LUCK IS
THAT CONCERNING A BIRD THAT ENTERS THE HOUSE UNINVITED. SUCH A SIGN
MEANS ONLY ONE THING, SICKNESS, DEATH, DESPAIR. IT COULD BE ANY
SORT OF BIRD AND THERE IS NO WAY TO REMEDY THE EVIL. ONCE THE BIRD
HAS ENTERED IT DOESNT MATTER IF HE IS KILLED, CAUGHT, OR SET FREE.
EVIL WILL FOLLOW. IT COULD TAKE A FEW MINUTES, OR A FEW DAYS.
EITHER WAY, BAD LUCK WILL VISIT THE INHABITANTS OR THE BUILDING
ITSELF.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

James Callow Keyword(s): UNINVITED GUEST

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.32

Date learned: 10-00-1965

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SLOVAK PRE-LENT CUSTOM

ON THE SATURDAY BEFORE LENT, PARTIES AND DANCES ARE A MUST.
THEY LAST FROM SATURDAY THRU TUESDAY BEFORE MIDNIGHT
WHICH IS THE BEGINNING OF ASH WEDNESDAY. MANY A YOUNG MAN DID NOT
COME HOME DURING THIS FESTIVE WEEK BECAUSE IT WAS ALL DANCE - PARTY -
EAT - DRINK - SINGING. ALL WERE VERY GAYLY DRESSED.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Keyword(s): FEASTING BEFORE FASTING

Subject headings: 663 Ash Wednesday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Pre Lent

Date learned: 00001967 FALL

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SLOVAK EASTER CUSTOM

STRICT FAST ON GOOD FRIDAY AND HOLY SATURDAY. THIS APPLIES ONLY TO
ADULTS AND ONLY UNTIL NOON. THE ADULTS MAY HAVE COFFEE OR MILK
AND A PIECE OF BREAD, SOMETIMES BUTTERED. THEN THE FAST IS RESUMED.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Keyword(s): SELF-SACRIFICE--FASTING

Subject headings: 663 Good Friday
663 Holy Saturday

Date learned: 00001967 FALL

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WEATHER PREDICTION

IF THERE IS NO DEW ON THE GROUND, THEN IT MEANS THAT YOU'LL PROBABLY
HAVE RAIN.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT'S FAMILY'S BELIEF

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Weather sign or control

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FISHING AND WEATHER

IF THE WIND IS OUT OF THE NORTH, THEN THE FISHING WILL NOT BE ANY
GOOD.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT USED TO FISH WITH A VERY EXPERIENCED FISHERMAN WHO WAS WELL
VERSED IN THESE THINGS. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE HAS PROVED HIM CORRECT.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Wind Whirlwind Hurricane Cyclone Tornado

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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CUSTOM

EATING THE DESSERT FIRST AT ANY MEAL IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH.

Submitter comment: INFORMANTS FATHER USED TO PRACTICE THIS CUSTOM. HE BROUGHT IT WITH
HIM FROM A GERMAN SETTLEMENT AROUND PITTSBURGH.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
Food Drink -- Pastry Sweet Dessert
BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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CUSTOM

PUTTING A RAW EGG IN YOUR SOUP IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH.

Submitter comment: INFORMANTS FATHER USED TO PRACTICE THIS CUSTOM. HE BROUGHT IT WITH
HIM FROM A GERMAN SETTLEMENT NEAR PITTSBURGH.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Mixed preparation in liquid
Food Drink -- Animal product Egg
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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MEANING BEHIND A CUSTOM

WHEN YOU SAY THAT YOU ARE TAKING IT WITH A GRAIN OF SALT, YOU MEAN
THAT YOU DOUBT IT VERY MUCH. THIS GOES BACK TO THE ROMAN TIMES,
WHEN SALT WAS RARE AND COSTLY AND HAD A HIGH VALUE. THEY FELT THAT
IT HAD MAGICAL POWERS AND THEY ALSO USED IT FOR SEASONING. GENERAL
POMPEII THREW SALT OVER HIS SHOULDER BEFORE GOING INTO BATTLE FOR
GOOD LUCK. THE ROMANS ALSO BELIEVED THAT IF SOME FOOD WAS BAD, THEY
COULD NEUTRALIZE IT BY PUTTING SALT ON IT. THEY WOULD ONLY EAT
ANYTHING QUESTIONABLE IF THEY PUT SALT ON IT FIRST. THIS IS WHY WE
TODAY SAY THAT WE TAKE SOMETHING DOUBTFUL WITH A GRAIN OF SALT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD THIS ITEM ON A RADIO BROADCAST ON 102 FM WDOK.
WDOK BROADCASTS IN CLEVELAND, OHIO.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
SPEECH -- Folk etymology
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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MARRIAGE CUSTOM

AT THE BRIDAL DANCE YOU WOULD COME UP AND PUT MONEY IN THE HAT FOR
THE NEW COUPLE. THIS THEN EARNED YOU THE RIGHT TO DANCE WITH THE
BRIDE.

Submitter comment: THIS IS AN ITALIAN CUSTOM THAT THE INFORMANT PICKED UP AT A WEDDING.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Crucial moment of life Life cycle Crucial Moment in Life
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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EASTER CUSTOM

AT EASTER TIME, YOU PASS OUT A HARDBOILED EGG TO EVERYONE PRESENT
AND THEY CUT IT UP INTO AS MANY PIECES AS THERE ARE PEOPLE. THEN
THEY PASS THEM AROUND UNTIL EVERYONE HAS ONE PIECE FROM EACH PERSON.
THIS IS SO THAT YOU WILL STAY CLOSE TO ALL THESE PEOPLE DURING
THE ENSUING YEAR.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A SLOVAK CUSTOM THAT THE INFORMANTS FAMILY DOES PRACTICE.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting
Food Drink -- Animal product Egg
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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RELIGIOUS CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

CALLED THE OPLATKI. IT IS A BLESSED WAFER ON WHICH YOU PUT HONEY AND
A WALNUT. A GOOD WALNUT REPRESENTS GOOD HEALTH. THEY ALSO USED TO
PUT GARLIC ON IT TO CHASE AWAY THE EVIL SPIRITS. SHE SAID THAT THIS
TASTED AWFUL.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A SLOVAK CUSTOM THAT IS HARD TO PRACTICE BECAUSE OF THE
DIFFICULTY IN ACQUIRING A BLESSED HOST.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
Food Drink -- Plant food Nut
BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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RELIGIOUS CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

MOTHER WOULD SAY IN SLOVAK WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING? WE WOULD ANSWER
THE NEW BORN JESUS. THEN THE MOTHER WOULD KNOCK THREE TIMES AND THEY
WOULD ANSWER PRAISE BE TO JESUS CHRIST. THEN SHE WOULD BLESS US
WITH HOLY WATER.

Submitter comment: A SLOVAK FRIEND OF THE INFORMANT TOLD HER THIS CUSTOM WHICH SHE SAYS
IS STILL IN PRACTICE TODAY IN MANY SLOVAK HOMES.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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CUSTOM

UPON ENTERING A HOUSE AT ANY TIME ONE WAS SUPPOSED TO SAY PRAISE BE
TO THE LORD.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A SLOVAK CUSTOM THAT WAS TOLD TO THE INFORMANT BY A FRIEND

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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EASTER CUSTOM

ON THE MONDAY AFTER EASTER, THE MEN WOULD TAKE A TONIC BOTTLE FILLED
WITH WATER AND SQUIRT THE WOMAN HE LIKED WITH THE WATER. WOMEN DID
THE SAME TO THE MEN ON TUESDAY.

Submitter comment: THIS IS AN OLD GERMAN CUSTOM WHOSE ORIGIN IS UNKNOWN.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Signs of availability
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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NEW YEARS DAY CUSTOM

THE FIRST CHILD TO WISH YOU A HAPPY NEW YEARS WOULD GET A SPECIAL
TOKEN. MY FATHER WOULD SET HIS ALARM FOR 5 A.M. AND GO VISIT THE
NEIGHBORS. FOR BEING THE FIRST ONE HE WOULD GET 5 OR 10 CENTS.
HE WOULD SOMETIMES MAKE 7 DOLLARS.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SEEMED TO HAVE VERY VIVID RECOLLECTIONS OF HER FATHER
TELLING HER ABOUT HIS EXPLOITS. THIS IS AN OLD GERMAN CUSTOM.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Number
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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RELIGIOUS CUSTOM

ON ST. NICHOLAS DAY, DECEMBER 6, THE CHILDREN LEAVE THEIR SHOES OUT
FOR HIM TO FILL THEM WITH GOODIES, OR IF THEY HAD BEEN BAD, A PIECE
OF COAL.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANTS FAMILY STILL PRACTICES THIS CUSTOM AS I CAN READILY
ATTEST TO. THIS IS A VERY OLD GERMAN CUSTOM.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

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

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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HARVEST CUSTOM

AT HARVEST TIME, A CLUB OR SOME OTHER ORGANIZATION WOULD MAKE A TREE
OUT OF EVERGREEN SPRIGS AND WOULD THEN RAFFLE IT OFF TO THE COUPLE
WITH THE HIGHEST BID. THEN THE COUPLE WOULD SELL THE RIBBONS TO
REIMBURSE THEMSELVES. IN THE PAST FEW YEARS, THIS CUSTOM HAS BECOME
HIGHLY COMMERCIAL AND IS NO LONGER USED EXCLUSIVELY TO HELP SMALL
GROUPS.

Submitter comment: A FRIEND OF THE INFORMANT GAVE HER THIS GERMAN-KERVEI CUSTOM.
IT IS STILL PRACTICED IN SOME PARTS OF THE U.S.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Autumn Fall Harvest Thanksgiving

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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CUSTOM

IN ITALY, ON AUGUST 15, THE FEASTDAY OF THE ASSUMPTION, THEY HOLD
MANY PARADES IN HONOR OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN AND THERE IS MUCH SINGING
AND DANCING.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT KNOWS SOME NEIGHBORS WHO HAVE LIVED IN ITALY AND THEY
RELATED THIS CUSTOM TO HER.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Religious
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Adoration
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Festival
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August 15 Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- June 21 solstice to September 22
BELIEF -- Religious hero

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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CURE FOR A HEADACHE

DROPS OF OIL IN IT. YOU THEN PROCEED TO SAY ITALIAN WORDS (THEY HAVE
NO TRANSLATION INTO ENGLISH) AND LIGHT A MATCH AND THROW IT INTO THE
OIL. IF THE OIL DISPERSES, THEN YOUR HEADACHE WILL GO AWAY. IF THE
OIL CLUMPS TOGETHER, THEN YOU WILL HAVE A HEADACHE FOR A WHILE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN THIS ITALIAN CURE ALTHOUGH HER MOTHER
DOES.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Remedy
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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EARACHE CURE

IF YOU HAVE AN EARACHE, BLOWING WARM SMOKE IN THE EAR WILL CURE IT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT IS A NURSE AND SHE HEARD THIS ONE IN A HOSPITAL.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 10-00-1976

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