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BURPING

IN INDIA THE PLEASING MANNER OF EXPRESSING A GOOD MEAL IS TO BURP
IN YOUR HOSTESS'S PRESENCE.
THIS IS REMEMBERED AS A COMMENT AFTER A VERY GOOD MEAL AT A FINE
RESTAURANT IN ATHENS, GREECE.

Where learned: GREECE ; ATHENS

Keyword(s): POLITENESS BURPING

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.

Date learned: 08-00-1969

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NEW YEAR'S EVE CUSTOMS

IN GREECE, FOR NEW YEAR'S EVE, THEY BAKE A SPONGE CAKE AND PUT
A DRACHMA INSIDE. THE PERSON WHOSE PIECE OF CAKE HAS THE DRACHMA IN
IT WINS A PRIZE AND WILL HAVE GOOD LUCK FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR.

Where learned: GREECE ; ATHENS

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Good luck

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NEW YEAR'S EVE CUSTOMS

IN GREECE, IT IS CUSTOMARY FOR PEOPLE TO VISIT EACH OTHER'S HOUSES
ON NEW YEAR'S EVE TO EXCHANGE GIFTS. THE CELEBRATION CONSISTS OF A
BIG MEAL. AFTER THE MEAL EVERYONE STAYS UP UNTIL MORNING TALKING,
SINGING AND DRINKING.

Where learned: GREECE ; ATHENS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 12-31-1979

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GREEK EASTER CUSTOMS

IN GREECE, AT EASTERTIME, THEY BAKE A SPECIAL ROUND LOAF OF BREAD,
WITH A DYED RED EGG IN THE CENTER.

Where learned: GREECE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Season
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Palm Sunday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs

Date learned: 12-00-1979

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EVIL EYE SYNDROME

IN GREECE, TO WARD OFF THE EFFECTS OF THE EVIL EYE, SMALL BLUE
PLASTIC EYEBALLS ARE SOLD EVERYWHERE.

Where learned: GREECE ; ATHENS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 12-00-1979

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GOOD LUCK GRAPES

I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW OUR FAMILY CAME ACROSS THIS TRADITION BUT
EVER SINCE I WAS A YOUNG BOY GROWING UP IN GREECE WE HAVE
FOLLOWED THE SPANISH TRADITION OF EATING NUTS AND TWELVE GRAPES
ON NEW YEAR'S EVE AT MIDNIGHT. EACH GRAPE WILL GIVE YOU GOOD
LUCK FOR THE NEXT TWELVE MONTHS OF THE NEW YEAR. I FOLLOWED
THIS COMBINATION VERY STRICTLY AND IT HASN'T FAILED ME YET.

Submitter comment: AS A VISITOR IN THE GOFFAS HOME, I DIDN'T WANT TO PRESS FOR
FURTHER INFORMATION FROM THE PROUD GREEK WHO WAS UNWILLING TO
TALK.

Where learned: GREECE

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
Favorites
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 -- Measure of time Month
BELIEF -- Good luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

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IF YOU SEE AN OWL DURING THE DAY YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK TILL
AUTUMN.

Where learned: GREECE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Measure of time AutumnFall
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 00-00-1980

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Before the Gregorian calendar was placed into effect by Pope
Gregory XIII in 1582, Christmas was celebrated on January sixth
according to the Julian calendar which was created by Julius Caesar
in about 46 B.C. The calendar was accepted in France in 1582 but it
was not until 1752 that Great Britain decided to adopt it. My
informant is not sure when Greece accepted the new calendar because
even though Christmas in Greece is celebrated on December 25,
tradition is still to celebrate Christmas on January sixth. My
informant assumes, however, that it was accepted around the same time
Europe (France) accepted it in 1582ca.

Where learned: GREECE

Keyword(s): EPIPHANY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.

Date learned: 00001943CA

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It is believed in much of Greece that if one sleeps in a bed
which faces east-west with the head of the bed on the west side, that
person is to die an early death. It is not specified, however, when
that person is to die. It could take from one night to ten nights to
one year (and so forth) for that person to die after he or she has
slept in the bed. This superstition is based on the fact that all
dead are placed on their "death bed" lying east-west with their head
on the west side.

Where learned: GREECE

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION, DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time

Date learned: 00001943CA

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To her knowledge, when a child of Greek descent is born, he or
she is given a charm (a golden eye) to protect him or her from what
is called a "matiasma." Roughly translated it means "given the eye"
or "eyed." This happens when someone admires someone out of jealousy
out loud. For example, "His voice is so incredible. I wish I had it."
Once one is eyed, if he or she is not wearing the charm or if one
doesn't say "ftousou" which is a Greek word that means "to spray
saliva," he or she is condemned to sickness. (When said, ftousou
literally sprays saliva in the person's face.)

Submitter comment: This particular superstition is feared by my informant because,
as a child, she was "eyed" and became seriously ill. All was tried to
lower my informant's fever but nothing worked. Finally, with
hesitation, a witch doctor was summoned and the fever disappeared
within a single day. To this day she has believed in the curse and
gave me and her other son the golden eye. However, both have been
misplaced and to this date have not been found.

Where learned: GREECE

Keyword(s): AILMENT ; SICKNESS ; unexplained

James Callow Keyword(s): amulet, talisman

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 00001943CA

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"Once a dog from a meat market stole a piece of meat and began to
run. On the road, he encountered a small bridge. As he looked down
into the water he saw a larger piece of meat. (Unknown to him, it was
just a reflection of the meat he had in his mouth.) As he opened his
mouth to grab the 'larger piece of meat,' he lost the piece he had.
Moral: Whoever wants more than he or she has loses the little he or
she does have."

Submitter comment: The moral loses much in the translation.

Where learned: GREECE

Keyword(s): Lesson ; Story

James Callow Keyword(s): animal fable

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal Tale

Date learned: 00001950CA

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It is believed in Greece that if an unmarried woman places three
"koufetta," meaning sugar-coated almonds, taken from a priest's tray
(meaning they were blessed) during a wedding, and places them under
her pillow at night while she is sleeping, she will see in her dreams
who she is to marry. The same is true for an unmarried male.

Where learned: GREECE

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Favorites
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
Food Drink -- Service Table furnishing and decoration Food container
Food Drink -- Plant food Nut
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Dreams Dreams about weddings, funerals, and other crucial moments of life
BELIEF -- P841,
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 00001950CA

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In Greece, many people wear a charm known as a "fielahto" which
means "protector." It is a small triangular piece of jewelry
(triangular signifying the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) made of
cloth. Within it is a piece of the cross on which Jesus was
crucified. It is worn on the inside of one's garments and is supposed
to ward of any evil that could possibly inflict harm to the wearer.

Submitter comment: My informant is unsure whether or not a real piece of the cross
used to crucify Jesus is in the cloth triangle but that is what she
was told when she was given hers and has no reason to doubt it.

Where learned: GREECE

Keyword(s): LUCK

James Callow Keyword(s): relic

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration

Date learned: 00001943CA

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In some small towns of Greece, it is believed that if an owl
appears at a house at night and "sings" someone in that house will
die.

Submitter comment: My informant holds this superstition above all other
superstitions she believes in because when she was twelve she saw an
owl in her yard at some point in the evening and some weeks later her
mother became deathly ill. One year after that it is said that an owl
was seen on their rooftop and some months later her father passed
away.

Where learned: GREECE

Keyword(s): MYSTERIOUS ; unexplained

Subject headings: Observation
Favorites
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00001946CA

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"Pedovolia" which means "five small objects"

This game can be played both indoors and outdoors but a hard,
relatively smooth floor surface is needed. The game is basically for
young girls but boys can play if they choose to. There is no limit to
the number of players. One player takes five small objects--small
round pebbles are often used. The player then sets four of them on
the floor, throws one stone into the air, picks up one of the four
stones that are on the floor, and then must catch the stone that she
or he threw into the air. If the player is successful in doing this,
she or he continues again throwing a stone into the air, grabbing
another stone off the floor while holding on to the rock that she or
he previously picked up off the ground, and again catching the
falling stone. If one is not successful, it becomes another player's
turn. The object is to see which player can do this for the longest
time. If one player is able to do this four times thus exhausting the
supply of stones, the stones are placed on the ground and then she or
he must throw one stone into the air, scoop two stones in a row up
from the ground, and then catch the falling stone.

Submitter comment: My informant told me that the game is actually more difficult
than it sounds.

Where learned: GREECE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement

Date learned: 00-00-1947

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On January first, Greeks celebrate what is known as St. Basil's
Day. It is the equivalent of Christmas here. It begins at twelve
o'clock midnight on December 31. "Vasilopita" - St Basil's Bread - is
served. Baked in the sweet bread is a single gold coin. The person to
receive the slice of sweet bread with the coin is said to have good
luck for the duration of the year. Presents are distributed. Then
snacks and drinks are served to all because in Greece there is no
certain age that must be attained before one is allowed to drink
alcohol.

Submitter comment: St. Basil is the equivalent of Santa Claus.

Where learned: GREECE

Keyword(s): holiday

James Callow Keyword(s): drinking age

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 00001945CA

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When a Greek couple is in the process of getting married and the
minister says "...to honor and obey..." the bride steps on the
groom's toe with force to show to herself that she does not have to
obey him.

Submitter comment: My informant told me that this occurs so the bride can prove to
herself that she does not fear her husband. If she can't bring
herself to do this, she carries with her the doubt of having any
authority in the marriage. To this day this can be seen in Greek
weddings. This applies even to some Greek weddings that occur in
America if the families decide to follow tradition.

Where learned: GREECE

Keyword(s): authority

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

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It is Greek belief that if one misplaces something from as small
as a ring to as large as a missing child, it can be relocated by
baking an offering known as a "Fanouropita" to St. Fanourio.
(Fanouropita means Bread of St. Fanourio.) Then taking the offering
and donating it to a church. The missing object is then said to
mysteriously turn up.

Where learned: GREECE

James Callow Keyword(s): compare St. Anthony

Subject headings: Favorites
Food Drink -- Plant food
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Church
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

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When a child is born of a Greek family the name it receives is
not chosen randomly but traditionally. If the child is a boy it takes
the grandfather's name from the father's side. If it is a girl, it
takes on the grandmother's name from the father's side. If there is
another boy born, it would then take on the name of the grandfather
from the mother's side. If another girl, the name of the grandmother
from the mother's side. After that there is no specific way that
names are chosen. However, traditional families normally don't have
more than four children. All children born of a Greek family inherit
the father's name as their middle name.

Where learned: GREECE

Subject headings: Person / Nickname

Date learned: 00001940CA

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In Greece, it is strictly believed that all good and all evil
will come in three's. My informants gave me an example to help me
understand:
"If you steal something, you may get away with it once, twice, but
the third time you will get caught."

Submitter comment: Even though I don't believe in this superstition, I have
experienced it on a few occasions.

Where learned: GREECE

Keyword(s): LUCK

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 00001943CA

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