Listening task 1: Fireworks, food, and fun

A Listen. When are these celebrations? Write the celebrations in the correct months.

1   St. Patrick’s Day

2   Moon Festival

3   Bob Marley Day

4   Day of the Dead

5   Kartini Day

6   St. Lucia’s Day

Answer & Audioscripts

February: Bob Marley Day

March: St. Patrick’s Day

April: Kartini Day

September: Moon Festival

November: Day of the Dead

December: St. Lucia’s Day

Audioscripts in B below

B Listen again. What do people do to celebrate? Match each celebration with an activity.

1  ____ St. Patrick’s Day

a. visit graves

2  ____ Moon Festival

b. go to concerts

3  ____ Bob Marley Day

c. share special lunches

4  ____ Day of the Dead

d. wear special clothes

5  ____ Kartini Day

e. go to a parade

6  ____ St. Lucia’s Day

f. eat special cakes

Answer & Audioscripts

1 e   2 f   3 b   4 a   5 c   6 D


 St. Patrick’s Day

Man:   St. Patrick’s Day is March seventeenth. It’s named for a man who lived in Ireland. Of course, Irish people celebrate the day, but it’s an even bigger festival in the United States. In Chicago, they even make the river green. People also have parties, and in large cities like New York and Chicago, there are big parades.

 Moon Festival

Woman:   The Moon Festival is a Chinese holiday. The holiday is often in September because the Chinese believe that September is the month of the moon’s birthday. People eat cakes chat are round like the moon. September is also the time for the harvest, when the food that was grown during the summer is gathered. Families get together and have big dinners.

 Bob Marley Day

Man:   February sixth is Bob Marley Day. Bob Marley was a famous musician. He introduced reggae music – the music of Jamaica – to the world. People in Jamaica loved Bob Marley. When Marley died, Jamaica made his birthday a national holiday. On February sixth, Jamaicans remember Marley through special events, especially concerts. There are concerts everywhere.

 Day of the Dead

Man:   The Day of the Dead in November is a very important holiday in Mexico. People believe that the dead come back to visit family members on this day. Mexicans go to visit graves – where the dead are buried. They have picnics near these graves. They bring food and flowers for the dead. The Day of the Dead in November is a time for remembering.

 Kartini Day

Woman:   Indonesia celebrates Kartini Day in April. Kartini was a princess who wanted girls to have better education in her country. She started a special school for girls. Kartini died when she was very young – only twenty-five. Her birthday, April twenty-first, is now a national holiday in Indonesia. Teachers and students share special lunches at school to honor Princess Kartini.

 St. Lucia’s Dav

Woman:   St. Lucia’s Day is a holiday in Sweden. It’s in December. St. Lucia’s Day is a day to bring light into the house. Young girls wear special clothes: a white dress and a crown of candles. In December, towns all over Sweden choose their Queen of Light. Homes and shops all burn candles throughout the day.

Listening task 2: Celebration time

A Did these people enjoy their weekend? Listen and check (✓) the correct answer.

Answer & Audioscripts

1 Kite-flying festival   3 Carnaval

2 Water festival   4 Chinese New Year

Audioscripts in B below

B Listen again. Circle the correct information.

1   Cutting strings brings good fortune / takes away bad luck.

2   Pouring water shows respect / symbolizes a long life.

3   The purpose of this holiday is to teach the samba / for people to have a good time.

4   It’s important to start the year without owing money / with lots of money.

Answer & Audioscripts

 Cutting strings takes away bad luck.

 Pouring water shows respect.

 The purpose of this holiday is for people to have a good time.

 It’s important to start the year without owing money.



Man:   In many countries, this sport is popular. In Korea it has a special meaning. In the first half of January, many Korean boys fly kites. On January fifteenth, they write “No bad luck” on their kites and fly them very high in the sky. Then they cut the strings. The kites fly away. They believe this takes the bad luck away for the year.


Woman:   Many countries have holidays to bring good luck. In Thailand, people hold this festival. The festival takes place everywhere in Thailand, but is especially popular in the north. Water Festival takes place in the middle of April. It is part of the Thai New Year. People throw buckets of water on each other. There are even parades where people throw water. It’s especially important to pour water on older people. It shows respect.


Woman:   Brazil is famous for this huge festival, with lots of music and dancing. The festival is called Carnaval. The most famous Carnaval parties are in Rio de Janeiro. In Rio, bands travel through the streets in parades. People enjoy dancing and dressing up in fancy clothes. The Brazilian samba dance contests are famous around the world. Carnaval is a festival for people to celebrate and have a good time.


Man:   This holiday is celebrated in many countries all over the world. It is a happy time in the Chinese calendar. There are parades in the streets, and families gather for big dinners. At these dinners, children get “lucky money” in red envelopes. Before the New Year, Chinese people always clean their houses to clean out bad luck. Everything must be fresh and clean. People also make sure they have paid all their bills. It is important to start the New Year without owing anyone money.

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