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People grow one year older every New Year's Day by eating rice cakes.

(What is the meaning of 'grow' in this sentence? What other words can we use instead of 'grow'?)

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    I'm not sure "grow" is the right word here. Grow:

    I'm also not sure that eating rice cakes is instrumental in a person's reaching his/her next birthday! Are rice cakes symbolic on New Year's Day for a particular reason?

    You might try this:

    People become one year older on New Year's Day.

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