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各大節日的來歷3——元宵節的來歷(雙語)

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  Lantern Festival The 15th day of the 1st lunar month

  The 15th day of the 1st lunar month is the Chinese Lantern Festival because the first lunar month is called yuan-month and in the ancient times people called night Xiao. The 15th day is the first night to see a full moon. So the day is also called Yuan Xiao Festival in China.

  According to the Chinese tradition, at the very beginning of a new year, when there is a bright full moon hanging in the sky, there should be thousands of colorful lanterns hung out for people to appreciate. At this time, people will try to solve the puzzles on the lanterns and eat yuanxiao and get all their families united in the joyful atmosphere.

  元宵節正月十五吃元宵的的習俗由來已久,元宵也叫“湯圓”、“圓子”。據說元宵象征合家團圓,吃元宵意味新的一年合家幸福、萬事如意。

  元宵節鬧花燈的習俗起源于道教的“三元說”;正月十五日為上元節,七月十五日為中元節,十月十五日為下元節。主管上、中、下三元的分別為天、地、人三官,天官喜樂,故上元節要燃燈。元宵節的節期與節俗活動,是隨歷史的發展而延長、擴展的。就節期長短而言,漢代才一天,到唐代已為三天,宋代則長達五天,明代更是自初八點燈,一直到正月十七的夜里才落燈,整整十天。與春節相接,白晝為市,熱鬧非凡,夜間燃燈,蔚為壯觀。特別是那精巧、多彩的燈火,更使其成為春節期間娛樂活動的高潮。至清代,又增加了舞龍、舞獅、跑旱船、踩高蹺、扭秧歌等“百戲”內容,只是節期縮短為四到五天。

  History

  Until the Sui Dynasty in the sixth century, Emperor Yangdi invited envoys from other countries to China to see the colorful lighted lanterns and enjoy the gala(節日的,慶祝的)performances.

  By the beginning of the Tang Dynasty in the seventh century, the lantern displays would last three days. The emperor also lifted the curfew(宵禁令), allowing the people to enjoy the festive lanterns day and night. It is not difficult to find Chinese poems which describe this happy scene.

  In the Song Dynasty, the festival was celebrated for five days and the activities began to spread to many of the big cities in China. Colorful glass and even jade were used to make lanterns, with figures from folk tales painted on the lanterns.

  However, the largest Lantern Festival celebration took place in the early part of the 15th century. The festivities continued for ten days. Emperor Chengzu had the downtown area set aside as a center for displaying the lanterns. Even today, there is a place in Beijing called Dengshikou. In Chinese, Deng means lantern and Shi is market. The area became a market where lanterns were sold during the day. In the evening, the local people would go there to see the beautiful lighted lanterns on display.

  Today, the displaying of lanterns is still a big event on the 15th day of the first lunar month throughout China. People enjoy the brightly lit night. Chengdu in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, for example, holds a lantern fair each year in the Cultural Park. During the Lantern Festival, the park is literally an ocean of lanterns! Many new designs attract countless visitors. The most eye-catching lantern is the Dragon Pole. This is a lantern in the shape of a golden dragon, spiraling up a 27-meter -high pole, spewing fireworks from its mouth. It is quite an impressive sight!

  元宵節是中國的傳統節日,早在2000多年前的西漢就有了,元宵賞燈始于東漢明帝時期,明帝提倡佛教,聽說佛教有正月十五日僧人觀佛舍利,點燈敬佛的做法,就命令這一天夜晚在皇宮和寺廟里點燈敬佛,令士族庶民都掛燈。以后這種佛教禮儀節日逐漸形成民間盛大的節日。該節經歷了由宮廷到民間,由中原到全國的發展過程。

  在漢文帝時,已下令將正月十五定為元宵節。漢武帝時,“太一神”的祭祀活動定在正月十五。(太一:主宰宇宙一切之神)。司馬遷創建“太初歷”時,就已將元宵節確定為重大節日。

  另有一說是元宵燃燈的習俗起源于道教的“三元說”;正月十五日為上元節,七月十五日為中元節,十月十五日為下元節。主管上、中、下三元的分別為天、地、人三官,天官喜樂,故上元節要燃燈。

  元宵節的節期與節俗活動,是隨歷史的發展而延長、擴展的。就節期長短而言,漢代才一天,到唐代已為三天,宋代則長達五天,明代更是自初八點燈,一直到正月十七的夜里才落燈,整整十天。與春節相接,白晝為市,熱鬧非凡,夜間燃燈,蔚為壯觀。特別是那精巧、多彩的燈火,更使其成為春節期間娛樂活動的高潮。至清代,又增加了舞龍、舞獅、跑旱船、踩高蹺、扭秧歌等“百戲”內容,只是節期縮短為四到五天。

  Origin

  There are many different beliefs about the origin of the Lantern Festival. But one thing for sure is that it had something to do with religious worship.

  One legend tells us that it was a time to worship Taiyi, the God of Heaven in ancient times. The belief was that the God of Heaven controlled the destiny of the human world. He had sixteen dragons at his beck and call and he decided when to inflict drought, storms, famine or pestilence(瘟疫)upon human beings. Beginning with Qinshihuang, the first emperor to unite the country, all subsequent emperors ordered splendid ceremonies each year. The emperor would ask Taiyi to bring favorable weather and good health to him and his people. Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty directed special attention to this event. In 104 BC, he proclaimed it one of the most important celebrations and the ceremony would last throughout the night.

  Another legend associates the Lantern Festival with Taoism. Tianguan is the Taoist god responsible for good fortune. His birthday falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month. It is said that Tianguan likes all types of entertainment. So followers prepare various kinds of activities during which they pray for good fortune.

  The third story about the origin of the festival is like this. Buddhism first entered China during the reign of Emperor Mingdi of the Eastern Han Dynasty. That was in the first century. However, it did not exert any great influence among the Chinese people. one day, Emperor Mingdi had a dream about a gold man in his palace. At the very moment when he was about to ask the mysterious figure who he was, the gold man suddenly rose to the sky and disappeared in the west. The next day, Emperor Mingdi sent a scholar to India on a pilgrimage(朝圣)to locate Buddhist scriptures. After journeying thousands of miles, the scholar finally returned with the scriptures. Emperor Mingdi ordered that a temple be built to house a statue of Buddha and serve as a repository for the scriptures. Followers believe that the power of Buddha can dispel darkness. So Emperor Mingdi ordered his subjects to display lighted lanterns during what was to become the Lantern Festival.

  關于元宵節的來歷,民間還有幾種有趣的傳說:

  關于燈的傳說

  傳說在很久以前,兇禽猛獸很多,四處傷害人和牲畜,人們就組織起來去打它們,有一只神鳥困為迷路而降落人間,卻意外的被不知情的獵人給射死了。天帝知道后十分震怒,立即傳旨,下令讓天兵于正月十五日到人間放火,把人間的人畜財產通通燒死。天帝的女兒心地善良,不忍心看百姓無辜受難,就冒著生命的危險,偷偷駕著祥云來到人間,把這個消息告訴了人們。眾人聽說了這個消息,有如頭上響了一個焦雷。嚇得不知如何是好,過了好久,才有個老人家想出個法子,他說:“在正月十四、十五、十六日這三天,每戶人家都在家里張燈結彩、點響爆竹、燃放煙火。這樣一來,天帝就會以為人們都被燒死了”。

  大家聽了都點頭稱是,便分頭準備去了。到了正月十五這天晚上,天帝往下一看,發覺人間一片紅光,響聲震天,連續三個夜晚都是如此,以為是大火燃燒的火焰,以中大快。人們就這樣保住了自己的生命及財產。為了紀念這次成功,從此每到正月十五,家家戶戶都懸掛燈籠,放煙火來紀念這個日子。

  Yuanxiao

  Besides entertainment and beautiful lanterns, another important part of the Lantern Festival,or Yuanxiao Festival is eating small dumpling balls made of glutinous rice flour. We call these balls Yuanxiao or Tangyuan. Obviously, they get the name from the festival itself. It is said that the custom of eating Yuanxiao originated during the Eastern Jin Dynasty in the fourth centuty, then became popular during the Tang and Song periods.

  The fillings inside the dumplings or Yuansiao are either sweet or salty. Sweet fillings are made of sugar, Walnuts(胡桃), sesame, osmanthus flowers(桂花), rose petals, sweetened tangerine peel, bean paste, or jujube paste(棗泥). A single ingredient or any combination can be used as the filling . The salty variety is filled with minced meat, vegetables or a mixture.

  The way to make Yuanxiao also varies between northern and southern China. The usual method followed in southern provinces is to shape the dough of rice flour into balls, make a hole, insert the filling, then close the hole and smooth out the dumpling by rolling it between your hands. In North China, sweet or nonmeat stuffing is the usual ingredient. The fillings are pressed into hardened cores, dipped lightly in water and rolled in a flat basket containing dry glutinous rice flour. A layer of the flour sticks to the filling, which is then again dipped in water and rolled a second time in the rice flour. And so it goes, like rolling a snowball, until the dumpling is the desired size.

  The custom of eating Yuanxiao dumplings remains. This tradition encourages both old and new stores to promote their Yuanxiao products. They all try their best to improve the taste and quality of the dumplings to attract more customers.

  漢文帝時為紀念“平呂”而設

  另一個傳說是元宵節是漢文帝時為紀念“平呂”而設。漢高祖劉邦死后,呂后之子劉盈登基為漢惠帝。惠帝生性懦弱,優柔寡斷,大權漸漸落再呂后手中。漢惠帝病死后呂后獨攬朝政把劉氏天下變成了呂氏天下,朝中老臣,劉氏宗室深感憤慨,但都懼怕呂后殘暴而敢怒不敢言。

  呂后病死后,諸呂惶惶不安害怕遭到傷害和排擠。于是,在上將軍呂祿家中秘密集合,共謀作亂之事,以便徹底奪取劉氏江山。

  此事傳至劉氏宗室齊王劉囊耳中,劉囊為保劉氏江山,決定起兵討伐諸呂隨后與開國老臣周勃,陳平取得聯系,設計解除了呂祿,“諸呂之亂”終于被徹底平定。

  平亂之后,眾臣擁立劉邦的第二個兒子劉恒登基,稱漢文帝。文帝深感太平盛世來之不易,便把平息“諸呂之亂”的正月十五,定為與民同樂日,京城里家家張燈結彩,以示慶祝。從此,正月十五便成了一個普天同慶的民間節日——“鬧元宵”。

  元宵節英語詞匯

  元宵節:festival of lanterns,lantern festival dumplings

  元宵: the rice glue ball

  燈謎:riddles written on lanterns

  燈具:lamps and lanterns

  燈花 snuff

  燈籠褲 bloomers galligaskins knickers pantalettes plus fours

  燈籠 lantern scaldfish

  燈塔 beacon lighthouse pharos

  燈語 lamp signal

  燈油 kerosene lamp oil

  燈心蜻蜓 damselfly
 

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