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UNIT 3

Describing events

N.B. When we write an article about a celebration/event we attended, we can divide it into four paragraphs.
In the first paragraph, we write whatcelebration/event we attended and where and when it took place (place/date/time).
In the second paragraph, we write about thepreparations before the celebration/event (e.g. costumes, food, etc.).
In the third paragraph, we write what happened during the celebration/event.
In the last paragraph, we write how we felt.
We normally use past tenses in such pieces of writing.

Match the city and carnival
The Tibetan Butter Lamp Festival
The Rio Carnival in Brazil
The Dragon Boat Festival
Holi Festival
Venice Carnival


1. _____________________
This festival is by far the largest in the world. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come every year for celebrations before the start of Lent, (a fasting period of forty days before Easter). The carnival takes place in the Sambadrome, a huge new stadium. There, samba schools compete with each other for the best costumes and dancing. They spend a lot of time and money on carnival preparations, making fantastic costumes, masks, decorations, mobile floats and teaching the samba. In the past, the carnival procession was held in the streets of Rio, where beautifully clothes people threw streamers and confetti and danced for four days. Nowadays, the world’s biggest street party has become a pleasure only for those who can afford the entrance fee.

2. _______________________
This Carnival is the most internationally known festival celebrated, as well as being one of the oldest. This congregation of masked people, called Carnival, began in the 15th century, but the tradition can be traced back to the beginning of the 14th Century.
During the Carnival period the city offered numerous possibilities for spending money. The choices were various, with activities such as gambling dens, brothels, theatres, cafes, wine shops (licensed and illicit) and restaurants, as well as booths where one could see exotic animals, ropewalkers and jugglers.
The streets of the city were full of people in masks, and no differentiation could be made between nobility and the common people.
In the squares street-artists and singers entertain with songs and music from their guitars, the guests of the Carnival.
Beginning on S. Stefano Day (26th December) costumes were permitted through the entire period of the Carnival (excluding the Festa delle Marie) which ends at the beginning of Lent. There is not much left today of the historical tradition of the Carnival.
In the late 1970’s a popular spirit of the Carnival bloomed wild, young masked gangs started to throw weethstraw and eggs to not masqued people and spontaneous bands were playing everywhere around the city; soon the aggressivity dimmed and city authorities began what is now a celebration of the Carnival, mainly for tourists. Unlike many celebrations of this city that remain almost unknown to the public, this Carnival seems to be thriving as much as it ever did.

3. _______________________________
Buddhists believe that nothing is permanent, and on the 9th of March they celebrate this belief. Long before the festival begins, monks make their preparations by mixing brightly-coloured dyes into huge quantities of iced butter. It takes them several month to carve the frozen butter into highly decorated statues, some of them as much as 8 meters high. On the day of the festival itself, the sculptures – supported by wooden frames – are carried through the streets and greeted with cheers from the excited crowds. Afterwards, the figures are thrown into a river by the monks who made them to demonstrate the idea that not even the most beautiful things last forever.

4. ____________________
One of festivals on the Hindu calendar is Holi. Also, known as Festival of Colors, Holi is celebrated by all the sections of the Indian society and crosses the barriers of religion and caste. Holi, the festival of colors, is a spring celebration and the exuberant ritual of putting color on each other. Holi promotes social harmony between the various classes of society. It is the day when all classes of people mix up and celebrate this festival displaying unity. The celebrations of holi festival breaks down all man-made obstacles and brings people together.
There are many legends given as the reason for celebrating ‘Holi’. There is one popular legend that is reputed to bring about the birth of ‘Holi’. It seems that long ago there was an evil king named King Hiranyakasipu. His son, prince Prahlad however was very holy and often prayed to God and this infuriated his father. One day, the wicked king ordered his sister, the demon Holika, to kill his son. The demon Holika, who was immune to fire, captured prince Prahlad and entered a fire furnace. She had done this to kill the prince, however it was her who was burnt to ashes. Prince Prahlad was safe and was not burnt at all. The legend goes that before the demon aunt died, she begged for prince Prahlad’s forgiveness and the prince forgave her and announced that her name would be remembered once a year. Thus the festival ‘Holi’ was created.

5. ________________________
In China, towards the end of June, people celebrate a holiday known as the Dragon Boat Festival. The festival is held to honour the memory of Qu Xuan, a politician and poet who, in the year 278 B.C., is said to have committed suicide by jumping into a river. It is said that local people threw rice dumplings into the water to save Xuan’s soul from the evil spirit in the river. Nowadays, boat races are held every year to remind people of the search for the body of the dead poet. Spectators eat rice cakes and crews row large dragon-shaped boats. Some researchers, however, say that dragon boats existed long before the death of Qu Xuan, and the modern festival is a combination of several old traditions.

Information to mention
1. Place/date of the event
2. History background of the event
3. Special features of the event
4. Your feelings before the event
5. Your feelings during the event
6. Your feeling after the event

Words of wisdom
When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life. (Samuel Johnson)
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

 

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