II. While Reading Activities
- millennia |məˈlenēəm|- noun. ( pl. -lennia) a period of a thousand years, esp. when calculated from the traditional date of the birth of Jesus Christ.
- festivities |feˈstivətē|- ( pl. -ties) noun activities or events celebrating a special occasion : the Chinese New Year is celebrated with a multitude of festivities.
- Gregorian calendar |grəˈgôrēən|-noun. the calendar introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII, as a modification of the Julian calendar.
- traditions |trəˈdiSHən|- (pl.) tradition noun. a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on in this way : Japan’s unique cultural traditions.
- resolutions |ˌrezəˈlo͞oSHən|- (pl.) noun. a firm decision to do or not to do something : she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more | a New Year’s resolution.
- Babylon |ˈbabəˌlän, -ˌlən|- noun. an ancient city in Mesopotamia, the capital of Babylonia in the 2nd millennium bc. The city was on the banks of the Euphrates River and was noted for its luxury, its fortifications, and, particularly, for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
- antiquity |anˈtikwitē|- noun. the ancient past, esp. the period before the Middle Ages : the great civilizations of antiquity.
- astronomical ˌastrəˈnämikəl|- adjective. (astronomy- noun.) the branch of science that deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole. In ancient times, observation of the sun, moon, stars, and planets formed the basis of timekeeping and navigation.
- Nile |nīl|-noun. a river in eastern Africa, the longest river in the world, that rises in east central Africa near Lake Victoria and flows…north through Uganda, Sudan, and Egypt to empty through a large delta into the Mediterranean Sea.
- winter solstice noun. the solstice that marks the onset of winter, at the time of the shortest day, about December 22 in the northern hemisphere and June 21 in the southern hemisphere.
Source: New Oxford American Dictionary
- F-Civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for at least four millennia.
- T-Common traditions include attending parties, eating special New Year’s foods, making resolutions for the new year and watching fireworks displays
- F-The earliest recorded festivities in honor of a new year’s arrival date back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon.
- T- The first day of the Chinese new year, meanwhile, occurred with the second new moon after the winter solstice.
- T-In medieval Europe, Christian leaders temporarily replaced January 1 as the first of the year with days carrying more religious significance, such as December 25 (the anniversary of Jesus’ birth)
- F-In many countries, New Year’s celebrations begin on the evening of December 31-New Year’s Eve—and continue into the early hours of January 1.
- F- Revelers often eat specific foods that are believed to bring good luck for the coming year.
- T-. Grapes in Spain, round fruits in the Philippines, suckling pig in Austria, soba noodles in Japan are all considered good-luck food.
- F-Other customs that are common worldwide include making resolutions.
- T- In the United States, the most iconic New Year’s tradition is the dropping of a giant ball in New York City‘s Times Square at the stroke of midnight.
III Grammar Focus
Identifying Parts of Speech: Nouns
Nouns: civilizations, world, *start, year, festivities, millennia, today, December, day, calendar, hours, January, common, traditions, foods, resolutions, year, fireworks, displays.
*the point in time or space at which something has its origin; the beginning of something.