1st GROUP. Some Scottish traditions for the New Year have spread to other parts of the UK.

Hogmanay festival is the celebration of the New Year in the Scottish manner. It lasts through the night until the morning of New Year's Day or, in some cases, the 2nd of January. One of the Scots’ most widespread custom that is supposed to bring good luck is the practice of 'first-footing' which starts immediately after midnight and involves being the first person to visit friends and relatives after midnight. Dark- haired men are very popular at this time of the year because if they bring you gifts such as coal and a bottle of whisky this means that you will have good luck and warmth for the whole year. At New Year in the UK and other speaking countries groups of people sometimes hold hands and sing a song called Auld Lang Syne. A. Decide if the following sentence is true, partly true or false : “People in all parts of Britain have the tradition of „first- footing‟.” a. Listen and find the answer to the following question: “Who wrote Auld Lang Syne?”

2nd GROUP. Chinese New Year is a big street party that occurs in January or February, depending on the start of the Chinese calendar. Cities with a large Chinese population, such as London, celebrate New Year with big noisy street parties. Huge colourful dragons dance along the streets and the fireworks are defeaning. Pupils who wish their Chinese colleagues Happy New Year in Chinese are recompensed with envelopes full of money. B. Decide if the following sentence is true, partly true or false: “Chinese New Year occurs in the late winter months.” b. Listen and find the answer to the following question : “What colour are the envelopes and why is this colour used?”

3rd GROUP. The Notting Hill Carnival is a celebration of Carribean culture: music, dance, costumes and food, which takes place at the end of the summer in Notting Hill, West London. Traditional steel bands- musicians playing a series of instruments made from oil drums- go through the streets on the back of lorries. People are wearing exotic Caribbean costumes. The other great musical tradition of the Caribbean, reggae is also represented on stages. C. Decide if the following sentence is true, partly true or false: “The music that you hear at the Notting Hill Carnival is reggae.” c. Listen and find the answer to the following question: “How many people visit the carnival every year?”

4th Group. Almost 150,000 Hindus and more than half a million Muslims live in UK. Diwali is a Hindu festival which takes place in October or November. It celebrates the time when the god Vishnu in human form – Rama - came back from exile after 14 years to become king and he was elcomed by people carrying little lamps. D. Decide if the following sentence is true, partly true or false: “Diwali is the celebration of nature.” d. Listen and find the answer to the following question: “Why is the celebration called Diwali?”

5th GROUP. Ramadan occurs during the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and is the month of fasting. Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and prayer. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam. Thus, according to the Quran, Muhammad first received revelations in the month of Ramadan that is why, this month is considered to be the most sacred month of the Islamic calendar. Strict Muslims do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset during this time. E. Decide if the following sentence is true, partly true or false: “During Ramadan, strict Muslims should not eat during the hours of daylight.” e. Listen and find the answer to the following question: “What do Muslims traditionally do on the last day of Ramadan?”

6th GROUP. Saint Valentine’s Day is famous in many parts of the world, but is not celebrated on the same date everywhere. In the UK, it’s on 14th February. People send anonymous cards to the people they love, or people that they would like to go out with. The usual message is: Would you be my Valentine? Saint Valentine was an early Christian who was executed because of his beliefs. F. Decide if the following sentence is true, partly true or false:“St. Valentine‟ s Day is the same all over the world.” f. Listen and find the answer to the following question: “How did he become the patron saint of lovers?”

7th GROUP. Lent is the period of 40 days before Easter in the Christian calendar, a period of penitence and self-denial for devout Christians all over the world. Before Lent starts, in Rio de Janeiro and Venice there are magnificent and colourful celebrations and in Britain 40 days before Easter we have the Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day where everyone eats pancakes. Pancake races are held in villages and towns across the United Kingdom and participants race with frying pans through the streetstossing pancakes into the air and catching them in the pan while running. G. Decide if the following sentence is true, partly true or false: “Pancake Day is the British equivalent of the carnival in Rio de Janeiro.” g. Listen and find the answer to the following question: “What is the origin of the word carnival?”

8th GROUP. Halloween, which originated as the Celtic Festival of the Dead-called Samhain, is another internationally famous celebration which occurs on 31st of October.The Christian Church tried to suppress this pagan festival and re-named it All Hallows’ Eve which is where the current name is derived from. Children celebrate Halloween by having their faces painted and going from door to door demanding sweets or treats. If they don’t get something, they are liable to play a practical joke on the people. H. Decide if the following sentence is true, partly true or false: “Halloween is an ancient religious festival.” h. Listen and find the answer to the following question: “What is this activity traditionally called?

9th GROUP. On 5 November 1605, a group of Catholics put gunpowder barrels in the basement of the Houses of Parliament trying to blow it up while the King was attending the opening of a new session of parliament. The Gunpowder plot was discovered and Guy Fawkes, the leader, brought to justice. Ever since, Bonfire Night , also called Guy Fawkes Night, after the leader of the conspirators is celebrated through fires and fireworks throughout Britain. I. Decide if the following sentence is true, partly true or false: “The leader of the Gunpowder Plot gives his name to a November celebration.” i. Listen and find the answer to the following question: “Which king did they try to assassinate?”

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