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双语学习:情人节的来源

2014-10-24    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

双语学习:情人节的来源

Every February, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine.
每年二月,全国上下,相爱的人们都以圣瓦伦丁的名义,彼此交换糖果、鲜花和礼物。

But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday? The history of Valentine’s Day一and its patron saint一is shrouded in mystery.
但是这个神秘的圣徒是谁呢?为什么我们要庆祝这个节日?情人节的历史以及这个圣徒都笼罩在神秘之中。

But we do know that February has long been a month of romance.
这并不妨碍我们知道:二月,很久以来就是一个浪漫的月份。

St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.
我们今天知道,圣瓦伦丁节包含了基督教和古罗马的传统的双重遗迹。

So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?
那么,圣瓦伦丁是谁以及他又是如何与这个古老的仪式联系上的呢?

Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were m rtyred.
今天,天主教廷认为至少有三个叫做瓦伦丁或者瓦伦丁诺斯的圣徒为教义献身了。

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial一which probably occurred around 270 A.D一others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to "christianize" celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival.
然而,一些人相信二月中旬庆祝圣瓦伦丁节的活动是为了纪念圣瓦伦丁的死亡或者人葬这件事情—大约发生在公元270年;也有的人声称基督教会决定在二月中旬庆祝圣瓦伦丁节,目的也许是为了把异教徒罗马人的牧神节给基督教化。

In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.
在古罗马,二月是官方规定的春季的开始,是被当做是洁身赎罪的时节。各家各户都遵照仪式把屋舍打扫干净,再在里面遍洒盐和斯佩耳特小麦。在二月的第十五天开始的古罗马牧神节是一个为了纪念罗马农业之神福纳斯的生产、繁殖的节日,同时也是为了纪念罗马的建立者罗穆卢斯和瑞摩斯。

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests,would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romufus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa.The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification.
节日开始的时候,鲁佩其(古罗马牧师的一种位次排列)的成员就会聚集在据说是罗马城的两位创立者罗穆卢斯和瑞摩斯当初被母狼抚养的那个神圣的山洞里。然后牧师们为了祈求繁殖,会献上一只山羊;为了表示纯洁,再献上一只狗。

The boys then sliced the goat's hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips. Far from being fearful,  Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year.
接下来,男孩子们把山羊皮割成一条一条的,浸泡在祭祀牲畜的血液中,之后再拿着这种山羊条到街道上去,轻碰女子和田地里的庄稼。古罗马的女子们根本不害怕,相反,她们非常欢迎被沾血的山羊皮碰到,因为那被认为可以使得她们来年生养更多的孩子。

Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman.These matches often ended in marriage.
这天的晚些时节,据说全城所有的年轻女子都会把自己的名字写在一个很大的瓮上。而城里的单身汉们则会从上面选择一个名字,再和选择的女子当年配对。这种相配方式通常会发展为婚姻。


Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D.
大约公元498年,教皇基拉西厄斯宣布二月十四日为圣瓦伦丁节。

The Roman "lottery" system for romantic pairing was deemed un-Christian and outlawed.
其实,古罗马人的这种抓阉式的配对方式被认为是不符合基督教教义,是非法的行为。

Later, during the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of February一Valentine's Day一should be a day for romance.
稍后,到了中世纪时期,人们普遍认为在法国和英国二月十四日是鸟儿们开始交配的季节的开始,这也加强了二月中旬—圣瓦伦丁节—应该是一个浪漫的日子的想法。

The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt.
已知的并且如今还现存的最古老的圣瓦伦丁节礼物是奥尔良的公爵查尔斯写给他的妻子的一首诗,他当时因在阿金库尔战役上被俘而被囚禁在英国的伦敦塔里。

The greeting, which was written in 1415, is part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England. Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.
这首诗的写作年代是1415年,现存于伦敦大英图书馆的手稿区。几年后,据说亨利五世也雇了一位叫做约翰·利德盖特的作家给他在瓦庐瓦的情人凯瑟琳写了一封情书。

In great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be popularly celebrated around the seventeenth century.
在英国,圣瓦伦丁节大约是在十七世纪时才开始广泛庆祝的。

By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes.
到了十八世纪中期,所有社会阶层的朋友以及情人们在这天彼此交换表达感情的礼物或者手写的信笺的现象就已经非常普遍了。

By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology.
十八世纪末,由于印刷技术的进步,印刷的卡片开始代替了手写的书信。

Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged.
对于那时候的人们来说,现成的卡片成了一种非常简单的表达情感的方式,因为那时候直接的表白情感还是不被提倡的。

Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. in the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began to sell the first mass一produced valentines in America.
便宜的邮资也对寄送圣瓦伦丁节祝福的普及做出了贡献。美国人大概是在十八世纪开始交换手工制作的圣瓦伦丁节礼物的。十八世纪四十年代,以斯帖·A"豪兰开始在美国销售第一批大规模生产出来的圣瓦伦丁节礼物。

According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.)Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women. in addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia.
根据贺卡协会的估计,每年有十亿张情人节卡片被送出去,这使得情人节成为一年中第二大送贺卡的节日取次于圣诞节的大约26亿张)。近85%的情人节贺卡都是女性购买的,除了美国,加拿大、墨西哥、英国、法国和澳大利亚等国家也庆祝情人节。

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400),and the oldest known Valentine card is on displa at the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine’s Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A.Howland.Howland,known as the Mother of the Valentine,made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap".
情人节的祝福早在中世纪时期就已经很受欢迎了(手写的情人节礼物直到1400年之后才出现),而已知的最古老的情人节贺卡在大英博物馆中展出。第一批商业性情人节贺卡是在I9世纪40年代在美国由有着“情人节之母”的以斯帖·A"豪兰制作出来的,她用真丝带、缎带和多种颜色的被看做是“碎片”的图片作出了精美的贺卡。

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men 一his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree,defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
有种说法却认为瓦伦丁是个牧师,三世纪时期在罗马供职。当罗马皇帝克劳迪亚斯二世认定单身男子比那些有家室的更能成为好士兵时,他宣布年轻男子结婚是不合法的—这成为他招募有潜力士兵的方法。很显然,这个法令是不公正的,瓦伦丁拒不服从,并继续秘密地为相爱的年轻人们举行婚礼仪式。当最终被揭发后,瓦伦丁被处以死刑。

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.
其他一些说法认为瓦伦丁之所以被杀,可能是因为他企图帮助基督徒逃离刑罚森严的罗马监狱。

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first "valentine" greeting himself.
还有一种传说,瓦伦丁他自己其实是第一个寄送出“情人”问候的人。

While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl一who may have been  his jailor’s daughter一who visited him during his confinement.
当瓦伦丁被囚禁在监狱这段期间,他可能爱上了经常来探监的狱友的女儿。

Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed"From your Valentine," an expression that is still in use today.
在他临死前,据说他给那个女孩写了一封信,落款处写着”来自你的瓦伦丁”,这也是我们今天仍旧使用的表达方式。

Although the truth  behind the Valentine legends is murky,the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly,romantic figure, It’s no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.
尽管,瓦伦丁故事背后的真实性无法说清楚,但无一例外,所有的这些故事却都强调了他是一个充满同情心的,勇敢的,浪漫的人物。所以,不足为奇,到中世纪的时候,瓦伦丁已经是英国和法国最受欢迎的圣徒了。


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