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Skills to develop: Understanding what to do with the text. Concentrating on the text.Guessing unknown words in a text.<br />READING ACTIVITY<br />center131445<br />New Year’s Eve Celebrations around the World<br />New Year’s Day falls on January 1 and marks the start of a new year according to the Gregorian calendar. <br />3653790635635The start of the New Year’s Day, at midnight, is heralded by fireworks, parties and special events. Many people make New Year’s resolutions...a list of decisions about how they will live during the coming year. These are usually promises to themselves that they will improve something in their own lives. <br />It is another New Year…<br />… How do people around the world celebrate it?<br />4406265-128270-26098590805<br />HONG KONG<br />The people in Hong Kong are not allowed to set off real firecrackers at the New Year. Instead, they use plastic firecrackers as decorations. Most people favor red as the color for clothing and decorations since it is associated with joy and happiness. <br />Lucky money is distributed in red envelopes with the family name and a good luck message written in gold. These are given on by relatives to the children of the family and any unmarried members only. The New Year feast is always a large one for the first day of the year. <br /> SPAIN<br />-260985277495For a long time, Spanish people have had a traditional custom of celebrating New Year's Eve. On the last day of the year, the 31st of December, they wait until twelve p.m. everybody has to have twelve grapes ready to eat when the clock starts to chime. When it is midnight, each time the clock chimes, they put a grape in their mouth. By the time the clock has finished chiming, everybody has to have finished their grapes and the New Year starts, but nobody ever finishes eating the grapes on time. This tradition started because one year when there was a big grape harvest, the king of Spain decided to give grapes to everybody to eat on New Year's Eve.<br />ECUADOR<br />3187065-172720In Ecuador "El Año Viejo" is celebrated by creating a fake person or dummy. The scarecrow-looking person will be completely dressed and stuffed with old newspapers and firecrackers. The dummy is usually placed outside the home. He represents something that happened during the last year. <br />At midnight each family lights the dummy on fire. As the dummy goes up in smoke, the firecrackers also go off to add to the festivities. The old year is forgotten and the New Year begins. <br />1986915224155MEXICO<br />There are numerous New Year traditions in Mexico being followed during the festive time. Most Mexicans have a late night dinner along with their families on New Year's Eve. People attend parties later on at squares, homes, and on the streets. <br />Most major cities, towns and villages in Mexico host New Year parties and celebrations and many attend the New Year celebrations around the Zocalo. At midnight fireworks, firecrackers, and sparklers welcome in the New Year. Mexicans embrace and greet each other "Feliz año nuevo!" <br />-118110-99695They search for luck in various innovative ways. If you want to have good luck in love in the New Year, wear red underwear. If you are searching for good luck with money, wear yellow underwear.<br />378714026035Another New Year Mexican tradition is about cleanliness in the New Year. People take a bath on New Year's Eve and some even wash their pets and cars.<br />NEW YORK<br />3339465861060Every year as the clock nears midnight on December 31st, the eyes of the world turn once more to the dazzling lights and bustling energy of Times Square. Anticipation runs high. New Year's Eve at the symbolic center of New York City has become more than just a celebration - it's a global tradition. The world holds its breath...and cheers as the clocks strike twelve. <br />As the famous New Year's Eve Ball descends from the flagpole atop One Times Square, an estimated one million people in Times Square, millions nationwide and over a billion watching throughout the world are united in bidding a collective farewell to the departing year, and expressing joy and hope for the year ahead. <br />-241935167005EGYPT<br /> In Egypt the New Year is a public holiday and has a very festive atmosphere. Although they know in advance when the New Year begins they still observe the custom of the new crescent moon must be seen before the official announcement is made. The sighting is carried out at the Muhammad Ali mosque which is at the top of the hill in Cairo. The message is then passed on to the religious leader known as the Grand Mufti and he proclaims the New Year. <br />The men who have been waiting outside the mosque wish each other a happy New Year by saying "Kol Sana We Enta Tayeb!" and then go home to tell their families. Then all families sit down for a special New Year dinner. On this day even the poorest of family serves some meat. No alcohol is served because Muslims do not drink. <br />4491990942340On this day everyone dresses up in special clothes even the girls are allowed to wear bright colored dresses. Usually they are only allowed to wear black. <br />The children are given sweets. Boys are given a sweet molded into the shape of a boy on horseback. Girls are given one in the shape of a girl wearing a dress. The sweets are surrounded by colored paper shaped like an accordion. <br />The New Year for the adults is a day for visiting friends. In some villages the father or the head of the family goes from house to house wishing each family a happy New Year collecting people as they go, until they end up at the Mayor's house.<br />All around the world people celebrate the coming of a New Year and time with traditions from their country. Although the celebrations are not always held on the same day, they often include traditions of religious celebrations, costume parties, parades and with customs said to bring good luck and fortune in the New Year.<br />What about you? <br />What do you do to celebrate it?<br />