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Out with the Old, In with the New Year

"Three, two, one, Happy New Year!" Most people are familiar with the dropping of the ball of lights in New York City, along with the famous fireworks displays in Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, and Taipei. But here are a few lesser-known New Year's Day traditions from around the globe.

In Japan, people send postcards to friends and family. They also fly kites, play games, and read poetry. Some traditions related to Chinese New Year are banging gongs to drive away bad luck and spirits and giving money to children on January 1.

In Spanish-speaking countries around the world, wearing red underwear on New Year's Day is thought to bring good luck in love. In Ecuador, people burn dummies stuffed with paper and firecrackers to symbolize the death of the old year. In Spain and Mexico, people eat 12 grapes to ensure 12 lucky months.

In Scotland, home of the famous New Year song, "Auld Lang Syne," people bring gifts to neighbors just after midnight. In Denmark, people smash old plates to attract new friends. Dutch people believe that doughnuts are good luck because their ring shape symbolizes a complete year.

Around the world, it's common practice to give a loved one a kiss at midnight on New Year's Day. People of many countries also make resolutions, believing that the new year is a good time to leave bad habits behind. Common resolutions include dieting, exercising, or quitting smoking.


Throw a party, watch some fireworks, eat a special food, or make a resolution. No matter where you are, there are plenty of great ways to welcome the New Year.

     
  1.

Rio de Janeiro is known for its famous New Year's _____.

       
    (A) resolutions
    (B)

fireworks show

    (C) underwear
    (D) ball drop
       
  2.

Which of the following is NOT a common New Year's resolution?

       
    (A)

Eating doughnuts.

    (B) Working out.
    (C) Giving up smoking.
    (D) Going on a diet.
       
  3.

Some New Year's customs in Japan _____.

       
    (A)

are derived from Chinese New Year traditions

    (B) bring bad luck in other countries
    (C) are a closely guarded secret
    (D) actually take place in July or August
       
           
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  Answers : 1) B    2) A    3) A   
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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