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A. People believe the power of pure love
1. Because the Islamic religion uses a calendar based on the moon, not the sun, the exact date of religious festivals changes from year to year. The Islamic Calendar begins with the hijra, the year when Mohammed left the city of Mecca for Medina. The New Year is a time for peaceful prayer for most Muslim people. Every year in the month of Ramadan – the ninth month of the Islamic calendar — all Muslims fast (= to eat no food or drink) from early morning until evening. By living without everyday comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person better understands the life of poor people who are hungry, and also grows in his or her spiritual life.
2. In Poland, there are many customs at Easter for example, the ’blessing basket’, containing (among other things) coloured eggs, bread, salt and white sausages. Everything in the basket has a meaning: the eggs represent Christ, the bread, salt and sausages — good health and enough money in the coming year. The family Easter breakfast on Sunday morning is as important as Christmas dinner for Poles. And there is one more Polish tradition connected with Easter Monday: ’watering’. People throw water at each other, and this is a wish for good health, too.
3. The festival of Diwali is one of the most important religious festivals in India. It lasts for five days around the end of October. It is the festival of Laxmi, the Goddess who, in the Hindu religion, brings peace and prosperity. Preparations for the festival begin several weeks before the festival itself. People clean and decorate their homes, prepare special food and buy new clothes and jewellery to welcome the Goddess into their homes. All over India people light up their homes with oil lamps and colourful lights. The celebrations take place on the darkest night of the lunar month, Amavasya. In the evening fireworks fill the sky.
4. In July Japanese boys and girls are busy preparing for Tanabata, the Festival of the Cowherd and the Weaver, the two stars which come together. The legend of these unhappy lovers is very ancient. It came to Japan more than thousand years ago. For hundreds of years poems, drawings and paintings have been made to celebrate Tanabata, one of the most important family holidays in Japan.
5. One of the special festivals in Great Britain takes place on the 5^ of November. On that day, in 1605, Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I. He didn’t succeed. On that day the British bum a dummy, made of straw and old clothes, on a bonfire and let off fireworks. This dummy is called a ’a guy’. In the streets children collect money for buying some fireworks.
1 – C
2 – D
3 – E
4 – A
5 – F