Thursday, May 27, 2010
"Buy a broom in May, and you will sweep your family away."
A brochure printed by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1955, titled "Historic Newfoundland and Labrador" included buying a broom in May in a list of things thought to bring bad luck. The belief is an old one, and not specific to Newfoundland; folk beliefs about brooms are found in many places. The 1873 Folk-Lore Record [I. 52] included this English belief:
The old gentleman‥strictly forbade green brooms being used in his house during the month of May, and, as a reason for the prohibition, used to quote the adage—‘If you sweep the house with broom in May, You'll sweep the head of that house away’.
According to Punjabi folk belief, “care is taken to see that no broom remains lying anywhere in that room [where a child is born] because it will sweep off all the luck of the newborn baby.”
Are you familiar with this tradition in Newfoundland? If so, which communities had that folk belief? Leave a comment!