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Reading Comprehension Quiz 1

by Dennis Oliver

American Language and Culture Program, Arizona State University

Special Instructions:
Read the following paragraphs carefully, then press 'QUIZ ME' to see the comprehension questions.
Happy New Years!

Today is March 17th. About two and a half months ago, I said "Happy New Year!" to many of my friends. Slightly more than a month ago, I said the same thing to some other friends. In about four days, I'll relay the same wishes to yet another group of friends. I'll do the same thing in July and also in September. "How can that be?", you might be thinking (if you're from Western Europe or the Americas). "Everyone knows that New Year's Day is in January!"

The answer to the question you might've posed is that exactly when New Year's Day is depends on the calendar--and I have friends who use one or more of five different calendars to keep track of at least part of their lives:

1. January 1st: New Year's Day on the Western/international calendar

2. Between January 10th and February 19th (in 1996, February 19th): New Year's Day on the Chinese calendar (China, Korea, and a few other places)

3. March 21st: New Year's Day on the traditional Persian calendar (Iran)

4. mid-July (usually the 16th): New Year's Day on the Islamic (Muslim) calendar

5. September: New Year's Day (ecclesiastical) on most Eastern Orthodox Church calendars (Central and Eastern Europe) and, usually, on the Jewish calendar.

And these are just the New Year's Days that I know about! Actually, there are probably even more!


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