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元宵节习俗知多少?

2014-02-14    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Chinese Lantern Festival - what's it all about?

自汉朝(公元前206年—公元221年)起,元宵节就已成为了中国新年庆祝活动中的一部分了。一般农历的正月十五为元宵节,这一天也标志着新年庆祝活动的结束。
The Lantern Festival has been part of Chinese New Year celebrations since the Han Dynasty (206 BC- 221 AD). Usually held on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, it marks the end of New Year festivities.
It is said that the holiday evolved from an ancient Chinese belief that celestial spirits could be seen flying about in the light of the first full moon of the lunar calendar. To aid them in their search for the spirits they used torches. These torches gave way to lanterns of every shape, size and colour.

The Lantern Festival is also popularly referred to as the Chinese Valentine’s Day because in days of old it gave girls and boys a rare chance to go out in the evening and mingle. Today, lantern festivals are held each year in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan to mark the end of Chinese New Year celebrations. Competitions are held to select the best lanterns.

The lanterns
The lanterns come in all shapes and sizes. Some are created in the form of animals, insects, flowers, people or even machines or buildings. Others depict scenes from popular stories teaching filial piety and traditional values. A favourite subject is the zodiac animal of the year - which in 2014 will be the horse.

Lantern riddles (cai deng mi)
Part of the lantern festival tradition involves a game to guess riddles attached to the lanterns. In the old days the riddles were obscure literary allusions to the Chinese classics and so were mainly the preserve of the educated classes.

Special foods
Like most Chinese festivals, the Lantern Festival has its own special food, called "tang yuan". These are round, glutinous rice dumplings with sweet or spicy fillings. The dumplings are said to symbolise both the first full moon and family unity and completeness.


Entertainment
Stilt-walking, drumming and dragon and lion dancing are all traditional forms of festival entertainment. In Asia, it is not uncommon to see processions of hundred-foot long dragons, lit with flashing eyes and luminous bodies, accompanied by pounding drums, cymbals and brass instruments.(ChinaDaily)

相关内容
据说元宵节由古代中国的一个传说演化而来,传言每至农历第一个月圆之夜,便可看到天上飞动的神灵。为了更容易寻找神灵,他们都会用一些火把照明,而这些火把也逐渐由一些形状、大小、颜色各异的灯笼所取代。

元宵节广受喜爱的另一个原因在于:它也被看做中国的情人节,因为在过去,这一天少男少女们可以利用这个宝贵的机会晚上一起出去约会。而今,在中国、香港、新加坡和台湾每年都会欢庆元宵节,以此作为中国新年庆祝的收尾。同时这些地方每年也会举办一些比赛来评选最佳彩灯。

灯笼
灯笼的形状各异,大小不同。一些灯笼会扎成动物、昆虫、花朵、人甚至是机器或建筑物的形状。还有一些则描绘了许多广为流传故事的情景,用来宣扬孝道以及传统价值观。最受大众喜爱则为当年生肖动物的主题彩灯,2014年会是马年。

猜灯谜
元宵节传统习俗中还有一部分是关于猜灯谜的游戏。在过去,这些谜语大多出自于模糊的文学典故和中国古典之中,所以猜灯谜以前多为知识份子的“领地”。

特色小吃
与大多数中国节日一样,元宵节同样有自己的特色小吃,称为“汤圆”(也叫“元宵”)。汤圆外形圆圆的,外皮由糯米制成,内馅或甜或辣。人们都说汤圆有两个象征之意,一为农历的第一个月圆,二为家庭团聚圆满。

娱乐活动
踩高跷,敲鼓和舞龙舞狮都是一些传统节日的娱乐活动。在亚洲,人们经常能看到这样的场景:数百英尺的长龙,闪闪发光的眼睛和亮晶晶的身躯,周围还有敲锣打鼓、吹奏乐器的队伍。


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