Реферат: Happy New Year

 At midnight on 31st December bells will ring out around the worldto welcome the New Year. Although certain countries and religions calculatetime by other calendars most countries in the world now number their yearsaccording to the Gregorian calendar introduced in the 16th century by PopeGregory XIII. This calendar was intended to overcome the confusion caused bycalculating time according to the moon's phases.

 Bell ringing is one way of celebrating the arrival of a new yearwhich is common to all countries welcoming it at this time; but it is thedifferences in their celebrations and customs which are intriguing.

 In Europe traditions vary considerably, but most of them involvea meal or special food. Swiss housewives bake special bread, rich in butter,eggs and raisins. They also cook roast goose. Children go from house to housegreeting the occupants and receiving invitations to come inside. People inItaly hold all-night parties, where salt pork lentils are included on the menu.Lentils are supposed to be lucky and bring money — perhaps because they looklike small piles of gold coins. There is a practical reason for meals featuringin these new year festivities. Most people stay up all night, or at least untilmidnight to «see the New Year in», so sustenance is essential. Alsothere is common superstition that if the new year begins well it will continuelike that.

 So great efforts are made to provide an atmosphere of goodwilland plenty. Parties are arranged a drink flow freely. In Spain it is a customto eat, ^ grapes at midnight and toast the new year in champagne. at familygatherings. Groups of friends visit restaurants in Turkey intending to spendthe night in celebrations which include present giving. So a people in Greeceplay cards, hoping that a win will bring them luck for a whole year.

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