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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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PRE-EASTER CUSTOM

SWIECONKA--ON THE SATURDAY BEFORE EASTER, A POLISH PERSON WILL TAKE
HIS EASTER BASKET TO CHURCH AND HAVE THE PRIEST BLESS IT TO INSURE
GOOD FORTUNE ON HIMSELF.

Data entry tech comment: ANOTHER SPELLING FOR THIS CUSTOM, WHICH EXTENDS TO ALL SLAVIC
PEOPLES, IS SWIECZONKA. BOTH SPELLINGS APPEAR TO BE ACCEPTABLE.

Where learned: TELEPHONE ; TOLD BY

Keyword(s): SWIECZONKA

Subject headings: 663 Holy Saturday
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 11-02-1971

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EASTER

IF THE FIRST PERSON WHO WALKS IN THE DOOR ON EASTER IS A MAN, IT'S
BAD LUCK; IF IT'S A WOMAN, IT'S GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: TELEPHONE ; TOLD BY

Keyword(s): FIRST FOOTING ; LUCK

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 03-07-1970

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TOAST

( POLISH WORD OMITTED BECAUSE ALPHABET COULD NOT BE DUPLICATED ) --
(ENGLISH TRANSLATION "WAFER"). THIS IS BOTH A CHRISTMAS EVE AND
EASTER CUSTOM, BUT IS PRIMARILY RESERVED FOR THE POLISH LENTEN MEAL
AT EASTERTIME. THE CUSTOM IS THAT AT THIS MEAL THE OLDEST MEMBER OF
THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY (IN INFORMANT'S CASE, HIS GRANDFATHER) CRACKS
OFF A BIT OF THIS SPECIAL WAFER AND GIVES IT TO THE PERSON NEXT TO
HIM WISHING THEM ( HIM ) "GOOD HEALTH", "HAPPINESS", ETC.

Where learned: TELEPHONE ; TOLD BY

Keyword(s): FAMILY UNITY ; FOOD CUSTOM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 11-02-1971

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AFTER-EASTER CUSTOM

DYNGUS DAY (SWITCH DAY)--ON EASTER MONDAY, BOYS IN CERTAIN POLISH
VILLAGES WILL SWITCH GIRLS THEY LIKE ON THE LEGS WITH A WILLOW
BRANCH, AND THEN WILL POUR A LITTLE WATER ON THEIR LEGS TO TEASE
THEM; SORT OF A COUNTERPART TO OUR SADIE HAWKINS DAY.

Where learned: TELEPHONE ; TOLD BY

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

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

Date learned: 11-02-1971

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CHILDREN'S SONG

DO YOUR EARS HANG LOW? DO THEY WOBBLE TO AND FRO?
CAN YOU TIE THEM IN A KNOT? CAN YOU TIE THEM
IN A BOW? CAN YOU THROW THEM OVER YOUR
SHOULDER LIKE A CONTINENTAL SOLDIER?
DO YOUR EARS HANG LOW?

Where learned: TELEPHONE

Keyword(s): EARS ; HYPERBOLE ; STRUCTURE: QUESTIONS WITHOUT ANSWERS

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ill humor Ridicule Mockery
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Children

Date learned: 10-13-1967

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CHILDREN'S RIME

I SCREAM,
YOU SCREAM,
WE ALL SCREAM
FOR ICE CREAM.

Where learned: TELEPHONE

Keyword(s): FINAL ITERATION ; WORD PLAY, PUN

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse

Date learned: 10-13-1967

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LEBANESE PROVERB

LEBANESE: ROOH HELLEW OO TA HELLOO.
TRANSLATION: GO SWEET AND COME BACK SWEET.

Where learned: TELEPHONE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-04-1969

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DON'T TRANSACT ANY TYPE OF BUSINESS ON FRIDAY OR MAKE
ANY KIND OF VISIT, OTHERWISE, YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: MRS. MUGGLETON LEARNED THIS BELIEF FROM HER ENGLISH-
BORN HUSBAND AND STILL PRACTICES IT.

Where learned: TELEPHONE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 11-02-1963

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TAKE THE CHRISTMAS TREE DOWN BY NEW YEAR'S EVE,
OTHERWISE YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: MRS. MUGGLETON LEARNED THIS FROM HER ENGLISH-BORN
HUSBAND AND STILL PRACTICES IT TODAY.

Where learned: TELEPHONE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Christmas tree
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 11-02-1963

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WHEN PEOPLE WERE BURIED FROM HOME, A WREATH WAS PLACED
ON THE FRONT DOOR. IF YOU COUNTED THE MARKS WHERE
THE WREATH WAS HUNG FROM, YOU WOULD EITHER HAVE
BAD LUCK OR THERE WOULD BE ANOTHER DEATH.

Submitter comment: MRS. MUGGLETON LEARNED THIS AS A CHILD.

Where learned: TELEPHONE

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 11-02-1963

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DON'T WEAR PEARLS, THEY WILL BRING TEARS.

Submitter comment: MRS. M. LEARNED THIS AS A CHILD AND STILL PRACTICES
IT TODAY.

Where learned: TELEPHONE

Subject headings: Prediction / Divination

Date learned: 11-02-1963

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STEP ON A CRACK;
BREAK THE DEVIL'S LEGS.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; TELEPHONE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief

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GREETING

SOME PEOPLE JOKING AROUND, ANSWER THEIR TELEPHONE SAYING:
CITY MORGUE, YOU KILL 'EM; WE CHILL 'EM.

Where learned: TELEPHONE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech Speech

Date learned: 02-23-1971

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IN THE PHILIPPINES, IF A MAN STUMBLES ON HIS WAY TO
A COCK FIGHT, IT IS A BAD OMEN. HE MAY JUST AS
WELL TURN BACK AND GO HOME, FOR HE WILL SURELY LOSE
THE COCK FIGHT.

Submitter comment: FROM HIS FATHER.

Where learned: TELEPHONE

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

Date learned: 08-09-1964

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IF YOU STEP OVER ANY PART OF A PERSON (E.G., STEP-
PING OVER THEIR LEGS TO AVOID THEIR HAVING TO
MOVE THEM) WITHOUT STEPPING BACK OVER AT THE SAME
POINT, YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK.

Where learned: TELEPHONE

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

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

Date learned: 09-22-1969

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IF THE FIRST PERSON WHO WALKS IN THE DOOR ON EASTER IS A
MAN, IT'S BAD LUCK; IF IT'S A WOMAN, IT'S GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: TELEPHONE

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.

Date learned: 03-07-1970

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FOR WARTS, RUB A POTATO ON THE WART, THEN BURY THE POTATO IN
THE MORNING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; TELEPHONE

James Callow Keyword(s): TRANSFER PLUGGING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 11-09-1970

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ORRIS ROOT AND POWDERED SOUP (SOAP?) MAKE THE BEST TOOTHWASH.

Where learned: TELEPHONE

Keyword(s): TOOTHPASTE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 08-12-1968

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IN ENGLAND, THE PEOPLE WOULD HUNT THE PEACOCK AND
PRESENT IT TO THE ROYAL FAMILY AS A GIFT. SOON
THERE WAS THE DANGER OF THE PEACOCK BECOMING EXTINCT,
SO THE PEOPLE CONSIDERED IT A SIGN OF BAD LUCK TO
EITHER KILL THE BIRD OR TO HAVE ANY REPRESENTATION
OF IT, WHETHER IT BE PAINTED ON A DISH OR ITS FEATHERS
STYLED ON A WOMAN'S HAT.

Submitter comment: MRS. MUGGLETON LEARNED OF THIS FROM HER ENGLISH-BORN
HUSBAND.

Where learned: ENGLAND ; TELEPHONE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Bird

Date learned: 11-02-1963

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IN ENGLAND, THE PEOPLE WOULD HUNT THE PEACOCK AND
PRESENT IT TO THE ROYAL FAMILY AS A GIFT. SOON
THERE WAS THE DANGER OF THE PEACOCK BECOMING EXTINCT,
SO THE PEOPLE CONSIDERED IT A SIGN OF BAD LUCK TO
EITHER KILL THE BIRD OR TO HAVE ANY REPRESENTATION
OF IT, WHETHER IT BE PAINTED ON A DISH OR ITS FEATHERS
STYLED ON A WOMAN'S HAT.

Submitter comment: MRS. MUGGLETON LEARNED OF THIS FROM HER ENGLISH-BORN
HUSBAND.

Where learned: ENGLAND ; TELEPHONE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Bird

Date learned: 11-02-1963

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