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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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POLISH CUSTOM

WHEN A GYPSY PEDDLER CAME TO A POLISH HOUSEHOLD, THE LADY OF THE
HOUSE WOULD TUCK A CORNER OF HER APRON INTO THE WAISTBAND ABOVE THE
DIAGONALLY OPPOSITE CORNER SO THAT THE GYPSY WOULD NOT CHEAT HER
ON ANY SALES.
MY GRANDMOTHER LEARNED THIS WHILE SHE WAS GIRL IN WARSAW IN
THE EARLY 1900'S.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; POLAND ; WARSAW ; COLLECTED IN DETROIT

Keyword(s): GYPSY POLISH SALES

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms

Date learned: 10-05-1967

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SUPERSTITOON

ROOSTER CROWING BEFORE MIDNIGHT MEANS RAIN.

Submitter comment: IN POLAND, WHERE MY GRANDMOTHER GREW UP, LOCAL TTADITIONS WERE
ACCEPTED AS FACT, AND WERE NOT QUESTIONED.

Where learned: POLAND ; WARSAW ; MIELIEC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control

Date learned: 00-00-1940

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CHRISTMAS TREES

CHRISTMAS TREES ARE VERY POPULAR IN POLAND. IN THE LARGE HOUSES IN
THE CITIES THEY ARE PLACED ON THE FLOOR OR THE TABLE. IN OUR
VILLAGE, MIELIEC, PEOPLE HUNG THEM FROM THE CEILING BY THE TOP
BRANCHES, ALL DECORATED WITH APPLES, NUTS, CANDIES AND MANY SMALL
TOYS MADE OUT OF BLOWN EGGS, COLORED PAPER AND STRAW. IT IS
SUPPOSED THAT THE GIFTS WERE BROUGHT BY AN ANGEL, SINCE ST. NICHOLAS
VISITED THE CHILDREN ON DEC. 6. AN OLD CHRISTMAS CAROL IS SUNG AND
THEN THE GIFTS ARE OPENNED.

Submitter comment: EVEN A BARE, SMALL CHRISTMAS TREE WITH A LITTLE ORNAMENTS, BROUGHT
HAPPINESS TO PEOPLE AT A TIME WHEN SIMPLE PLEASURES WERE ALL THAT
MATTERED.

Where learned: POLAND ; WARSAW ; MIELIEC

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Religious
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
BELIEF -- Angel

Date learned: 00-00-1940

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CHRISTMAS SONGS

POLISH CAROLS, KOLENDY, ARE SUNG AT MIDNIGHT MASS, OR THE PASTERKA
CALLED SHEPHERDS' WATCH. MANY PEOPLE IN OUR VILLAGE BELIEVED THAT
WHILE WE SANG AND PRAYED, PEACE DESCENDED ON THE WORLD. ANIMALS
ASSUMED VOICES AT THIS TIME, WHICH ONLY WAS HEARD BY THE INNOCENT OF
HEART.

Submitter comment: CHRISTMAS SONGS BROUGHT PEOPLE TOGETHER TO PRAISE THE EARTH AND
HAVE SOME FUN. IT WAS A TIME OF BEING WITH FRIENDS.

Where learned: POLAND ; WARSAW ; MIELIEC

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Religious
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 00-00-1940

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EVENTS ON CHRISTMAS EVE

FROM EVENING UNTIL MIDNIGHT, BOYS WALK FROM VILLAGE TO VILLAGE WITH
AN ILLUMINATED STAR AND A KING HEROD CHARACTER, TO SING CAROLS.
THIS IS DONE TO RECEIVE GIFTS. IN SOME DISTRICTS THE BOYS CARRY
PUPPET SHOWS CALLED SZOPKI. THESE ARE BUILT LIKE A LITTLE HOUSE
WITH TWO TOWERS, OPEN IN THE FRONT WHERE A SMALL CRIB IS SET AND
BEFORE WHICH MARIONETTES SING THEIR DIALOGUES.

Submitter comment: THE DRAMATIZATION AND PUPPET SHOWS WERE EAGERLY AWAITED BY THE
CHILREN OF POLAND AS WELL AS THE ADULTS.

Where learned: POLAND ; WARSAW ; MIELIEC

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Religious
DRAMA -- Religious
DRAMA -- Puppet
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve

Date learned: 00-00-1940

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IF A HEN CROWS THERE WILL BE BAD LUCK IN A HOUSEHOLD,
AND THE MEMBERS OF THAT HOUSEHOLD MAY EXPECT EITHER
DEAD LIVESTOCK OR A DEATH IN THE FAMILY.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDMOTHER LEARNED THIS WHEN SHE WAS A GIRL
IN WARSAW IN THE EARLY 1900S.

Data entry tech comment: I BELIEVE SHE MEANS IF A HEN CROWS BEFORE DAWN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; POLAND ; WARSAW

James Callow Keyword(s): FOWL

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Use of Object Animals

Date learned: 00001900s ; 10-05-1967

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showing 6 items

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