Answer Key: New Year’s Celebration in the US

Post and Lesson Plan Here

II. While Reading Tasks


Word Inference

  1. millennia noun. ( pl. -lennia)  a period of a thousand years, esp. when calculated from the traditional date of the birth of Jesus Christ.
  2. festivities ( pl. -ties) noun  activities or events celebrating a special occasion : the Chinese New Year is celebrated with a multitude of festivities.
  3. Gregorian calendar noun. the calendar introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII, as a modification of the Julian calendar.
  4. traditions (pl.) tradition noun. a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on in this way : Japan’s unique cultural traditions.
  5. resolutions (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.
  6. fireworks (pl.)  noun. a device containing gunpowder and other combustible chemicals that causes a spectacular explosion when ignited, used typically for display or in celebrations.
  7. Babylon 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.
  8. heralded (pt.) noun.  a person or thing viewed as a sign that something is about to happen : they considered the first primroses as the herald of spring.
  9. antiquity noun. the ancient past, esp. the period before the Middle Ages : the great civilizations of antiquity.
  10. agricultural  adjective.  (agriculture noun.) the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.
  11. astronomical  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.
  12. Nile 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.
  13. coincided (pt.) verb [ intrans. ] occur at or during the same time : publication is timed to coincide with a major exhibition | the two events coincided.
  14. 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.
  15. solstice  noun. either of the two times in the year, the summer solstice and the winter solstice, when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in the sky at noon, marked by the longest and shortest days.
  16. Revelers (pl.) noun. people who engage in lively and noisy festivities, esp. those which involve drinking and dancing.

Questions for Comprehension 

True / False

  1. F-Civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for at least four millennia.
  2. T-Common traditions include attending parties, eating special New Year’s foods, making resolutions for the new year and watching fireworks display.
  3. F-The earliest recorded festivities in honor of a new year’s arrival date back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon.
  4. T- The first day of the Chinese new year, meanwhile, occurred with the second new moon after the winter solstice.
  5. 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)
  6. 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.
  7. F- Revelers often eat specific foods that are believed to bring good luck for the coming year;
  8. T-…for example, grapes in Spain, round fruits in the Philippines, suckling pig in Austria, soba noodles in Japan…
  9. F-Other customs that are common worldwide include making resolutions—
  10. 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…

 Grammar Focus

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.

IV. Listening Activity  

While Listening Tasks

#1-Video: New Year’s Day  Feast

Listening Comprehension


  1.  good luck and prosperity
  2.  rice and black-eye peas.
  3. Peas and rice  symbolize good luck
  4.  pigs feet symbolize travel and adventure
  5.  ribs.

#2-Video: The History of Rosh Hashanah

  1.  Head of the year.
  2.  2 days.
  3.  ‘God” said so.
  4. introspection and repentance.
  5.  a sweet new year.