Mardi Gras Int

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Transcript of Mardi Gras Int

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    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Copyright 2010. This eBook is produced and distributed by Red River Press Inc. All rights reserved. The contents within this e-book/document may only be

    photocopied by members of ESL-Library.com, in accordance with membership terms and conditions. Contact info@esl-library.comfor complete details.

    1

    Mardi Gras(intermediate level)

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    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Copyright 2010. This eBook is produced and distributed by Red River Press Inc. All rights reserved. The contents within this e-book/document may only be

    photocopied by members of ESL-Library.com, in accordance with membership terms and conditions. Contact info@esl-library.comfor complete details.

    2

    MARDI GRAS

    1. Like many other holidays and festivals observed globally today, Mardi Gras has its rootsin Christianity. The

    French term Mardi Gras translates to Fat Tuesday, and refers specifically to the last day before Lent. Lent is a

    period prior to Easter when Christians traditionally fasted. Giving up a particular food or vice, such as smoking

    or eating sweets, is more typical today.

    2. The length of Mardi Gras celebrations varies depending on where the celebrations are held. While some

    parties last a day or two, others run for 46 exciting days. Traditionally the observance began on Epiphany, also

    known as Twelfth Night, and ended just before Lent. In the Christian tradition, Epiphany is the twelfth day

    after Christmas when the kings arrived at Jesus' birthplace. Fat Tuesday is also called Pancake Tuesday or

    Shrove Tuesday. The following day, known by Christians as Ash Wednesday, is the first day of Lent.

    3. The term Lent actually translates from Old English to mean the season of spring. Having a festival just before

    spring is typical of many religions and cultures. If you've ever been to a Mardi Gras celebration, it may surprise

    you that such a party could have a religious background. Festivals and carnivals that take place before

    springtime are filled with extravaganceand mystery. In fact it is believed that these circus-type festivals

    existed before Christians adopted them, and that they were toneddownto fit the faith. Over time, the festivals

    grew wilder again and eventually the religious aspect lost its significance.

    4. One common element of carnival celebrations worldwide is the parade. These massive spectacles have been

    popular in the United States since the 1700s when French explorers brought their traditions with them from

    Paris. To this day, the Mardi Gras parades in America are organized by private clubs called Krewes. These

    secret societies hide behind masks as they parade down the streets of cities including New Orleans, Louisiana

    and Mobile, Alabama. The more exclusiveKrewes are made up of relatives from previous generations and oftenhave high membership fees. The fees are used to pay for the decorative floats.

    ESL Lesson Plans - Holidays (Intermediate) - Mardi Gra

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    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Copyright 2010. This eBook is produced and distributed by Red River Press Inc. All rights reserved. The contents within this e-book/document may only be

    photocopied by members of ESL-Library.com, in accordance with membership terms and conditions. Contact info@esl-library.comfor complete details.

    3

    Mardi Gras - continued

    5. In New Orleans there are three special colors associated with Mardi Gras and each color has a symbolic

    meaning. Green symbolizes faith, purple symbolizesjustice, and gold symbolizes power. Costumes,

    decorations, and beaded necklaces of these three colors are prevalentthroughout Mardi Gras. Besides the

    beads, other special souvenirs such as coins and hand-decorated coconuts are thrown out to the parade watchers

    from the partiers on the floats. Items that are tossedinto the crowds are called "throws".

    6. In Rio de Janeiro and other parts of Brazil, this Lenten celebration is known as Carnival. Often dubbed"The

    greatest party on Earth," Carnival in Rio features a two-day samba school parade. Thousands of travelers from

    around the world visit Rio for this spectacle, including celebrities who celebrate from VIP balconiesalong the

    parade route. The singers and dancers in the parade wear feathers as a symbol of Brazil's ability to overcome

    troubled times. Judges are placed at various points along the route to determine which school deserves the

    highest marks.

    7. Festivals like Mardi Gras are not necessarily tied to spring. Canadians celebrate Carnival at an annual winter

    festival in Quebec City that coincides with Mardi Gras. Winter Carnival in Quebec is the largest of its kind in

    the world with close to one million attendees each year. Rather than feathers and beads and coconuts, it features

    an ice castle and a winter amusementparkfor the whole family. Activities include sleigh racing, ice sculpting,

    and dog sledding.

    ESL Lesson Plans - Holidays (Intermediate) - Mardi Gra

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    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Copyright 2010. This eBook is produced and distributed by Red River Press Inc. All rights reserved. The contents within this e-book/document may only be

    photocopied by members of ESL-Library.com, in accordance with membership terms and conditions. Contact info@esl-library.comfor complete details.

    4

    READING COMPREHENSION

    A. Practice asking and answering the following questions with your partner. Then write the answers in

    the spaces below.

    1. What language does the term Mardi Gras come from? ___________________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    2. Why is Ash Wednesday mentioned in the reading? ______________________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    3. Who brought the Mardi Gras celebration to America? ____________________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    4. What are the private Mardi Gras clubs in New Orleans called? _____________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    5. What do the purple beads symbolize? _________________________________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    6. What is the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro often called? _____________________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    7. Where do celebrities typically go to watch the samba parades? _____________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    8. What do the feathered costumes symbolize? ____________________________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    9. Where is the world's most famous winter Carnival? ______________________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    10. What types of things do people do at this winter Carnival? _______________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    ESL Lesson Plans - Holidays (Intermediate) - Mardi Gra

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    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Copyright 2010. This eBook is produced and distributed by Red River Press Inc. All rights reserved. The contents within this e-book/document may only be

    photocopied by members of ESL-Library.com, in accordance with membership terms and conditions. Contact info@esl-library.comfor complete details.

    5

    VOCABULARY REVIEW

    A. Match the words on the left with the correct meaning on the right.

    ____1. roots a) fairness

    ____2. fasted b) very noticeable or common

    ____3. vice c) strong belief in something

    ____4. extravagance d) origin; place where something or someone began

    ____5. toned down e) threw casually

    ____6. significance f) viewing and seating area from above____7. exclusive g) a place to enjoy rides, games, and other fun activities

    ____8. floats h) stopped eating for a period of time

    ____9. faith i) only available for a select person, group or time period

    ____10. justice j) an unhealthy habit or tendency

    ____11. prevalent k) decorated vehicles that parade participants ride on

    ____12. tossed l) made something less noticeab