Directions (1-15): In the following passage, there are blanks each of which has been numbered. For each blank five words have been suggested, one of which ﬁts the blank appropriately. Find out the appropriate word in each case.
While most Christians are putting …(1)…their Christmas decorations, a substantial minority of them are only now preparing to …(2)…the Nativity of Jesus Christ. For some eastern Christians (those who refused to accept a calendar reform in the 1920s), the Nativity feast comes to a …(3)…today and tomorrow. Along with the churches of Georgia and Serbia and the Greek clerics of Mount Athos, Jerusalem and Sinai, the largest …(4)… of people celebrating this weekend will be the Russians.
For some really …(5)…Slavic households, the Eve of Christmas (January 6th by the Gregorian calendar) is a time of long, …(6)…services and a family meal which begins when the first star appears in the sky. Hay is …(7)…about the house as a symbol of the Saviour’s modest beginnings and a white linen table-cloth is a reminder of the baby’s …(8)…clothes. The meal is elaborate but, like all food over the previous 40 days, free of meat or dairy; only the following day, after the pre-Nativity fast has come to an …(9)…, can a nice dish of pork, or a coffee cake made with cream, be enjoyed. Historical …(10)… of Russian Christmas often add that the tsar’s family observed Christmas with particular …(11)…, borrowing extra customs from their German cousins, just as the British royals did.
That’s what the text-books say, anyway. But the reality is that in Soviet times, Christmas was all but forgotten and people were successfully …(12)… to focus their winter cheer and gift-giving on the new year. A secular “Grandfather Frost” …(13)… Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas) as a provider of goodies to children. A quarter-century after the fall of communism, Russians still …(14)… new year with …(15)… while the observance of Christmas is a learning experience, not an unbroken folk memory.
(Source- The Economist)