BEFORE YOU READ: Time to party!
A. Read the statements below. Do you think they are true (T) or false (F)?
1. People in many Western countries make promises to change their lives in the New Years.
2. In some countries a festival called Carnival is celebrated in January or February.
3. At Carnival people wear costumes and dance.
4. The two biggest Carnivals are now held in Brazil and the US.
B. Compare your answers with a partner.
READING SKILL: Scanning (When we scan we look for information that we want and ignore other information. This saves time. On tests, scanning can be useful when checking if a fact is true or false, or to find the place in a reading about which a question in asked.)
A. Scan the reading passage on the next page to find out if the statements in Before You Read above are really true or false. Share your answers with a partner.
B. Scan the reading to find and complete these expressions from the reading.
a. tell b. share c. say
a. have b. make c. teach
a. use b. lose c. spend
a. all b.whole c. total
a. get b. take c. receive
6.____ the party
a. enter b. jump c. join
C. Read the passage again, then answer the questions that follow.
READING PASSAGE: How do you celebrate?
People everywhere celebrate the New Year. Although there are variations in the way they celebrate, for most it is a time to say goodbye to the past and to think about new beginnings. In many countries, people get together with family and friends on December 31 to eat, drink, dance, socialize, and welcome January 1 at midnight.
In many Western countries people make New Year's resolutions. They make promises to themselves to make changes in their lives over the coming year, such as to lose weight, to stop smoking, to get a new job, or to learn a new skill. In many Asian countries, people also celebrate the New Year in late January or early February. People spend time with family and eat special foods. In most countries, the holiday lasts for several days.
In late February or early March, some countries celebrate a special festival called Carnival. Many think that Carnival first started in Italy or Greece. People dressed in costumes, wore colorful masks, ate, drank, and danced all night on the Tuesday before the start of Lent, 40 days of sacrifice of pleasure before Easter. This tradition spread to France, Spain, Portugal, and later, to Brazil and the US.
Now, two of the biggest Carnivals take place in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and New Orleans in the US. People still wear flashy costumes, and at Carnival in Rio there is a very long parade that lasts for four days.
In New Orleans, Carnival is called Mardi Gras, which translates to "fat Tuesday" and lasts for three weeks. Both celebrations combine music and traditions from all over the world. Millions of visitors travel from around the world to join the party.