Views #1474 | Intermediate 5

Adopting Holidays

Megen and Todd discuss how countries often borrow holidays from other cultures.

Todd: So Megen we are talking about Holidays and Christmas and in the last interview we talked the difference between Christmases in a cold country and a warm country, so now I thought we would talk about Christmas in countries that aren't really Christian countries. They don't really celebrate it for religuous reasons. So we're in Japan and it's interesting that in Japan it's a romantic day, right?

Megen: Yes. Yeah it is.

Todd: It's like Valentine's Day

Megen: Yes, you have to spend Christmas with your partner.

Todd: Right, and everybody looks forward to it. To go out on a date and give each other gits, and yeah.

Megen: Yeah, yeah, I think the fireworks are for the boyfriend and girlfriend and I think, and I think there are a lot of decorations that are similar to like Valentine's actually.

Todd: Yeah, it's interesting because they have the Christmas decoration everywhere, but nobody gets the day off. No families celebrate it really.

Megen: Yeah, it's a regular day.

Todd: Except eating the chicken dinner, which we talked about -- the fried chicken dinner. Yeah, so it's kind of like one of those, like I call it a soft holiday. Like in America a soft holiday would be St Patrick's Day. Like everybody has to go to work but you do something that day related to the holiday even though you have no historical connection to it at all.

Megen: Ah, I see.

Todd: So for example on St Patrick's Day you drink green beer and you wear green. Like, do you do that in Australia?

Megen: Ah, that started to become a thing in Australia that the bars do tend to have green beer, and you have green clothing that you might wear and people go out. It's definitely a drinking holiday. Not a holiday though.

Todd: Right, are there any other holidays that you've absorbed into Australia?

Megen: Well, people are starting to celebrate Halloween more these days and people take their kids trick or treating.

Todd: Oh, really?

Megen: Yeah! Not everyone does it, though I think that some people like to put a sign on their front door to say that trick-or-treaters are welcome, because generally we don't do that kind of thing in Australia, but the departments, the department stores are having more decorations and it's definitely infiltrating from America I think.

Todd: Oh, that's interesting. So, in America Halloween is a big time to have parties. Do you have parties?

Megen: I think more and more people are having parties. They have their own party in their house with decorations and costumes, but it's hard to say how many people celebrate Halloween really.

Todd: Well, what about costumes? Did you wear a costume?

Megen: I never wore a costume in Australia. I had never celebrated Halloween, but I noticed that some of my friends, and friends with children, they are celebrating it more, and it's becoming just a chance to have a party and dress up.

Todd: As an English teacher did you dress up here in Japan?

Megen: Yes, I did actually. Twice.

Todd: Oh, you did. Did you like it?

Megen: I did. It was fun to dress up. I dressed up as a character from a Jubilee movie, and it was really good to get together with my friends and to go out. Have you ever dressed up before?

Todd: Oh, countless times. Countless. Yeah, so as a kid it was a big thing definitely in America.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

look forward to

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Everybody looks forward to it.

When people look forward to doing something, they eagerly await it. Notice the following:

  1. I look forward to seeing you next month.
  2. I am not looking forward to taking the test.

go out on a date

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They go out on a date and give each other gifts.

When people go out on a date, they go do something fun It often has romantic connotations. Notice the following:

  1. Last night I went out on a date.
  2. I have not been out on a date in a long time.

become a thing

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That started to become a thing in Australia

When something becomes a thing, it starts to become popular. Notice the following:

  1. Having pigs as pets is becoming a thing.
  2. Men wearing tights is becoming a thing.

trick or treat

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People take their kids trick or treating.

When kids trick or treat, they visit houses on Halloween and ask for candy at the door by saying "trick or treat!" Notice the following:

  1. I used to trick or treat on Halloween.
  2. You must say trick or treat to get candy.

dress up

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It's a chance to dress up.

Dress up can mean to wear really nice clothes or to wear a costume. Notice the following:

  1. Lots of kids dress up for Halloween.
  2. My dad sometimes dressed up as Santa Claus.

countless times

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Oh, countless times.

Here, countless times means many times, so many that it is hard to count them all. Notice the following:

  1. I've been to that cafe countless times.
  2. I've driven on this road countless times.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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