USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘yellow’
Customs
Folk Beliefs
Magic

Venezuelan New Year’s

What is being performed?
TV: There are actually a lot of folk traditions that go along with New Year’s for Venezuelans
AA: Okay, like what?
TV: Well, for one, you’re supposed to wear yellow underwear on New Year’s for good luck.
AA: Does it bring you good luck for the day, forever, or is it just for the year?
TV: It’s for the year, but I don’t know why. I guess it could be cause yellow is a happy color.
There’s also the tradition of running around the block with a suitcase after dinner. It means that
you will travel during the year and everyone I know does it except for me.
AA: Do you believe in that?
TA: I think running around with a suitcase makes you want to travel and maybe that makes you
more likely to book a flight and actually go. But I don’t know how magical it truly is.
Why do they know or like this piece? where/who did they learn it from? What does it mean to
them?
AA: What do you get from this tradition?
TV: I don’t usually partake in it but my family takes it pretty seriously. I guess I see it more as a
symbolic way of hoping for a good year than a magic trick.
AA: Who did you learn it from?
TV: I learned it from my parents and other relatives that wanted to share what color their
underwear was, haha. The suitcase one I just saw happen when I was a kid and still see
happen every New Year’s.

Context of the performance- where do you perform it? History?
AA: When is this performed?
TV: It’s only performed on New Year’s Eve in Venezuelan culture.
AA: And are you going to perform this with your children?
TV: I think I will.

Reflection
I think these are very interesting traditions and have never heard of them. I think of yellow as a
bright color and could see why it could be connected to luck and good fortune. I think what’s
most interesting is that it is associated with New Year’s. As my informant noted, it seems that
there are a lot of folk traditions that revolve around New Year’s and New Year’s Eve. I definitely
want to try running with my suitcase. It seems a little funny but it means well.

Childhood
Musical

Cinderella Dressed in…What??

Megan is a sophomore in my french class. I’ve known her for a year. She’s a sweet, very soft spoken intelligent girl. She loves horseback riding. She’s majoring in creative writing and wants to be a screenwriter for Pixar one day.

When I first introduced the topic folklore and then mentioned childhood rhymes, riddles, and songs, one of the first things that popped into her head was this song:

“Cinder-ella, dressed in yell-ah

Went upstairs, to kiss, a fell-ah

Made a mis-take, and kissed a snake

Came downstairs, with ah belly-ache

How Many doooctors did-it-take

One…Two…Three…”

It’s a song girls sing when they’re jumping rope. I remember all the different variations of this form of folklore:

Cinderella, dressed in green,
Went upstairs to eat ice cream.
How many spoonfuls did she eat?
One, two, three

Cinderella, dressed in brown
Went upstairs to make a gown
How many stitches did she use?
One, two, three

Analysis: One of the more fun parts about being a girl is being able to sing silly things about the toys and characters you love without seeming too odd. Boys aspire to be astronauts, cowboys, police officers, doctors, chefs and more. But all little girls will tell you at least once in their lifetime that they want to be a princess. Whether they were 8 years old and playing on the playground or a 43 year old mother who only wishes to be spoiled and pampered by her prince. Songs like this play into our culture as a reminder that we can still have our imagination while understanding the truth; reality. Yes, we may not be princesses, so let’s make a little fun of Cinderella or whomever. It also keeps the character alive. While slightly teasing the character, little girls bring the princess to the playground and engulf themselves in an environment where they can run around their own princesses.

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