“My parents used to tie red ribbons on the fruit trees during an eclipse… it was I don’t know… so that the trees wouldn’t die, supposedly like lunar events like would or an eclipse and stuff would mess with the harvest of that.”
My informant learned this practice from his parents who were practitioners of this themselves. We were discussing the color red and what it had to do with lunar eclipses. There seems to be a connection with lunar eclipses, pregnancy, and fruit. I believe that fruit may symbolize a women’s fertility and that is why the red ribbon somehow protects the fruit from dying, just as the color red may protect an unborn baby from dying.
“When You cheers you have to make eye contact or you’ll have bad sex for seven years.”
My informant does not remember where she heard this superstition, but he does however practice this whenever he gives someone a “cheers” with a drink. She told me this superstition at a very casual party/dinner setting. This piece of folklore is humorous and was probably told to make people look you in the eye for a “cheers” as a sign of respect. I do not think this superstition is true.
“My Grandmother always used to say, the things you do two by two will come back to you one by one”
This proverb was told to me by a friend of a relative of mine at a party. My informant learned this saying from her grandmother. My informant does not know the meaning of this proverb. I think this saying means that the things or decisions we make influenced by our friends and peers may come back to haunt us in the end. This saying reminds me of the Hindu concept of Karma and the saying,” What goes around, Comes back around.”
“During a lunar Eclipse, You’re supposed to put a red towel on your belly to protect the baby”
My informant learned this piece of folklore from his parents who were practitioners of this. My informant himself never tried it on his child and never knew why his parents did it. He shared this with me when the topic of pregnancy superstitions came up. This piece of folklore was very interesting to me and made sense because of all the connections that a lunar eclipse has to women, pregnancy and fertility that we learned in class. I also thought it was weird that the superstition says particularly a red towel. This reminded me of Vaz de Silva’s argument that the color red usually symbolizes women and fertility in folklore.
There’s a big set of steps on campus, these stairs they’re called Jan’s steps and the myth or the legend is that you can’t step on the fourth step from the bottom and that every time you step on that step you’ll be in college for one more year.
My informant learned this piece of folklore through a sorority at the University of California Los Angeles. She told me this along with other superstitions and traditions about college while we and some friends were discussing it. She did not actively participate in this practice, it was just one superstition that she heard.