Рефераты. Темы по английскому

Темы по английскому


In most of Asia, especially China, Korea, and Vietnam, the New Year

begins with the first full moon of the first Chinese lunar month. Special

foods are eaten in each region.

In China, foods are prepared ahead (using a knife during New Year's

might "cut luck") and include dishes with names that sound auspicious, such

as tangerines (good fortune), fish (surplus), and chestnuts (profit).

Meats, fried dishes (such as fried rice dumplings), and alcoholic beverages

(which are all considered yang, or strong foods) are also common. In Korea,

soup containing small glutinous rice cakes or steamed dumplings are a must.

In Vietnam, bahn chung, a glutinous rice cake filled with meat and beans

cooked in banana leaves is a New Year's specialty. Pork with lotus root and

shark fin soup are also favored. Small mandarin trees in full fruit are

purchased for each home as a sign of hospitality.

One tradition practiced in both China and Vietnam has to do with the

annual report on the family's past activities to the gods, who then

determine the following year's fortune. In Chinese culture, an offering is

made a week before the New Year to the picture of the Chinese Kitchen God

hung in most homes. The food is usually sweet and sticky, so that when the

God departs to Heaven to make his report, he will only say favorable things

(in some regions the lips in the picture are actually smeared with honey or

malt). In Vietnam, it is Ong Tao (Spirit of the Hearth), he is represented

by 3 small stones and honored at his altar with a sweet soy bean soup and

sweet rice cakes.

The beginning of the New Year is celebrated by many cultures on

January 1st. Some celebrations, such as in the U.S., take place on the

evening before the new year, featuring drinking, sweets, and general

frivolity. In Spain and Portugal, it is customary to eat twelve grapes or

raisins at each stroke of the clock at midnight (a similar practice takes

place in the Philippines following the New Year's Eve fiesta meal, but only

7 grapes are eaten). In Poland, jelly doughnuts (paczki)are traditional of

New Year's Eve. In Scotland, New Year's Eve is called Hogmanay complete

with festive partying and foods such as triangular shortbread (calle

hogmanays), scones, bannocks, black bun, ginger bread, and haggis, a

pudding made from sheep's stomach stuffed with oatmeal and innards is

drenched in Scotch whiskey before it is eaten.

In Japan on New Year's day, 10 to 20 dishes, collectively called

Osechi ryori, are served. Each dish represents a different value desired

for the new year, such as fish eggs for fertility, root vegetables for

stability, black beans for health, kombu (seaweed) for happiness, and

mashed sweet potatoes to keep away the evil spirits. Otoso, a special rice

wine, is served. In many homes, mochi, a rice cake made by pounding hot

rice into a sticky dough is traditional. A Buddhist o sonae mochi may be

set up to preserve good luck and happiness in future generations. It

consists of a large mochi on the bottom, which is the foundation provided

by the older generation. A smaller mochi representing the younger

generation is placed on top, followed by a tangerine symbolizing the

generations to come.

In Greece, a sweet bread called vasilopitta is prepared with a coin

baked into it for New Year's. The person who gets the piece with the coin

in has good luck in the upcoming year. In the U.S. South, black-eyed peas

(sometimes known as hoppin' johns) are traditionally served for luck on New

Year's day. Throughout much of the world, the beginning of the new year is

seen as an opportunity to celebrate life and influence the future!

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