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传统节日:中元节或七月半英语介绍

2015-08-28    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

万圣节是西方的鬼节,那你知道中国的四大鬼节是哪四个节日吗?今天介绍中国四大鬼节之一七月半,俗称鬼节,又称中元节或盂兰盆节。

民间有阳间过元宵节阴间过鬼节的传说,因此鬼节是阴间最大的节日。你知道怎样向外国朋友介绍中国的鬼节吗?随小编一起来看看吧!

Just as Halloween is for Americans, the “Hungry Ghost Festival” is for Chinese. Ghost Festival is one of Chinese traditional occasions, which is taken very seriously by the Chinese. This festival usually falls on the15th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar. The Ghost Festival, some places say the Hungry Ghost Festival, is also called Half July (Lunar), Ullambana, which is closely related to Buddhism, and zhongyuan jie which is the Taoism saying and Folk Belief.
就像万圣节对于美国人一样,中国也有鬼节。鬼节是中国传统节日之一,并且被中国人认真看待。这个节日通常是阴历七月十五。鬼节(有些地方翻译为饿鬼节),又叫七月半,佛教称之为盂兰盆节,中元节是道教的称法,同时也是一种民间说法。

It is believed by the Chinese that the dead become ghosts roaming between Heaven and Earth unless they have descendants to care for them during the Ghost Festival. During this month, the gates of hell are thrown open to free the hungry ghosts who then wander to seek food on Earth. Some even think that the ghosts would seek revenge on those who had wronged them in their lives. However, more people remember their ancestors on this day. The Ghost Festival becomes a time for remembering the importance of filial piety. The reason why the Chinese celebrate this festival is to remember their dead family members and pay tribute to them. They also feel that offering food to the deceased appeases them and wards off bad luck. People now release river lights as an important activity during this time, since it is said that river light can comfort and warm the homeless ghosts. In some areas, visitors may also see small roadside fires, where believes burn paper money and other offerings to appease the restless spirits who have temporarily been released from Hades.
中国人认为除非一个人有子孙后代能够在他死后在鬼节这天悼念他们,否则人死后会变成鬼魂在天地之间游荡。在七月,地狱的大门会打开放出饿鬼,这些饿鬼会在凡间寻找食物。一些人更认为他们会向那些害死他们的人复仇。但是,更多的人在这一天祭奠他们的先人。鬼节成为一个子女对先人尽孝的节日。中国人庆祝这个节日的原因是纪念他们家中死去的成员并且悼念死者。他们相信祭品能安抚死者,消除厄运。放河灯是人们纪念鬼节的重要活动,因为据说河灯能给无家可归的孤魂野鬼以慰藉和温暖。在一些地区,外来者会看见路边一小堆一小堆的火,因为人们相信烧纸钱或其它东西能安抚刚从地狱出来的痛苦幽魂。

How we Chinese people celebrate it?中国人怎样过鬼节呢?

The Ghost Festival is celebrated during the seventh month of the Chinese Lunar calendar. It also falls at the same time as a full moon, the new season, the fall harvest, the peak of Buddhist monastic asceticism, the rebirth of ancestors, and the assembly of the local community.
人们在阴历七月庆祝鬼节,同时也是月满之夜,新季节新丰收的日子。这时候正值佛教寺院苦行主义高峰,是先人轮回,家人团聚的日子。

Unlike other celebrations of the dead in Eastern cultures, the Hungry Ghost Festival seeks to pacify the hungry ghosts. These are the ghosts of those who died by their own hands, by accidents, by drowning or hanging who have been denied entry into heaven and they are forced to dwell in hell without food or comfort, when released, they search for souls to take their place in misery. To Taoists and Buddhists, these evil spirits are not to be taken to sun. They are most active at night and can take many forms including: snakes, moths, birds, foxes, wolves, and tigers. They can even appear as beautiful men or women to seduce the living. When they possess an individual by entering the body they cause illness and mental disorders.
与其它东方文化纪念死者方式不同,中国鬼节是为了安抚饿鬼。那些自杀后变成的鬼、由于意外事故变成的鬼、溺死的或自缢的鬼,他们不允许进入天堂而被迫进入地狱,并且不给他们食物和慰藉。一当他们被释放,他们就寻找别人的灵魂来代替他们受苦难。对于道教和佛教来说,这些恶鬼不能出现在阳光下。他们多在夜晚活动并且有很多变化形式包括:蛇、蛾、狐狸、狼、老虎等等。他们甚至能变成美男或美女去勾引活人。当他们进入一个人的身体变成独立的个人,他们给这个人带来疾病或者神智混乱。

During this month, the gates of hell are opened up and ghosts are free to roam the earth where they seek food and entertainment. These ghosts are believed to be ancestors of those who have forgotten to pay tribute to them after they had died, or those who have suffered deaths and were never given a proper ritual for a send-off. They have long needle-thin necks because they have not been fed by their family, or it is a sign of punishment so they are unable to swallow.
在这个月,地狱之门打开,鬼魂可以在凡间自由游荡,寻找食物或者寻找娱乐。这些鬼魂被认为是他们的子孙后代在他们死后忘记祭奠他们,或者经历死亡后没有得到合适的送别仪式。他们有针尖细的喉咙的原因是他们的家人没有给他们食物或者作为一种惩罚从而无法咽食。

Family members offer prayers to their deceased relatives, offer food and drink and burn joss paper. Such paper items are only valid in the underworld, which is why they burn it as an offering to the ghosts that have come from the gates of hell. The afterlife is very similar in some aspects to the material world, and the paper effigies of material goods would provide comfort to in the afterlife. People would also burn other things such as paper houses, cars, servants and televisions to please the ghosts. Families also pay tribute to other unknown wandering ghosts so that these homeless souls do not intrude on their lives and bring misfortune and bad luck. A large feast is held for the ghosts on the fourteenth day of the seventh month, where everyone brings samplings of food and places them on the offering table to please the ghosts and ward off bad luck.
家庭成员为死去的亲属祈祷,用烧纸的方式为他们提供饮食。这种纸只在地下有效,这正是为什么只为从地狱出来的鬼魂烧纸。他们的死后生活与生前的物质生活相似,烧的纸模型在地下会给他们提供舒适的生活。人们也会烧其他的东西,比如纸房子纸汽车假佣人,纸电视等来供他们娱乐。人们也会悼念其他不知名的孤魂野鬼以至于不会侵入他们的家,带来不幸。在七月十四为鬼魂举行一顿盛宴,每个人带来食物放在桌上供给鬼从而避免厄运。

In some East Asian countries today, live performances are held and everyone is invited to attend. The first row of seats are always empty as these are where the ghosts sit. The shows are always put on at night and at high volumes as the sound attract and please the ghosts. Some shows include Chinese opera, dramas, and in some areas, even burlesque shows.
现今在一些东亚地区,人们会举行现场表演,所有人都会参加。通常第一排的座位是空的,是为鬼准备的。表演通常会搭高台在晚上举行。一些表演包括中国戏剧,话剧,在一些地方会有滑稽表演。

For rituals, Buddhist and Taoists hold ceremonies to relieve ghosts from suffering, many of them holding ceremonies in the afternoon or at night as it is believed that the ghosts are released from hell when the sun sets. Altars are built for the deceased and priests and monks alike perform rituals for the benefit of ghosts. Monks and priests often throw rice or other small foods into the air in all directions to distribute them to the ghosts.
在庆祝仪式上,佛教和道教都会举行一些庆典来减轻苦难。他们大多在下午或者晚上举行仪式,因为他们认为鬼魂在日落后才会从地狱中被释放。他们为死者建造祭坛,僧侣和道士举行宗教仪式为鬼魂祈福。僧侣和道士通常会为鬼魂向各个方向洒米。

During the evening, incense is burnt in front of the doors of each household. Incense stands for prosperity in Chinese culture, so families believe that there is more prosperity in burning more incense. During the festival, some shops are closed as they wanted to leave the streets open for the ghosts. In the middle of each street stood an altar of incense with fresh fruit and sacrifices displayed on it.
在夜间,人们在各家门后烧香。在中国文化中,香代表繁荣兴旺,所以人们认为烧的香越多,就会越兴旺。在节日中,一些商店会关门从而让鬼魂经过街道。在每条街道的中间会建有祭坛,上面烧着香放着新鲜水果和祭品。

14 days after the festival, to make sure all the hungry ghosts find their way back to hell, people flow water lanterns and set them outside their houses. These lanterns are made by setting a lotus flower-shaped lantern on a paper boat. The lanterns are used to direct the ghosts back to the underworld, and when they go out, it symbolizes that they found their way back.
在节日的14天,确保所有的鬼魂都找到了回地狱的道路后,人们在房前屋后的河里放河灯。这些莲花状的河灯是放在纸做的小船上的。它们为鬼魂会地狱照明道路,当河灯飘远,象征着鬼魂找到了回去的路。

Nowadays, the Ghost Festival is not only celebrated by Chinese people, but also some other Eastern countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, North Korea and Japan.
现今,不仅中国人庆祝鬼节,很多东方国家也庆祝鬼节。比如马来西亚、新加坡、朝鲜和日本。

The Ghost Festival in Malaysia is modernized by the 'concert-like' live performances. It has its own characteristics and is not similar to other Ghost Festivals in other countries. The live show is popularly known as 'Koh-tai' by the Hokkien-speaking people, performed by a group of singers, dancers and entertainers on a temporary stage that setup within the residential district. The festival is funded by the residents of each individual residential district.
马来西亚以一种“音乐会形式”的现场表演庆祝鬼节。它有自己的特点,和其他国家的过鬼节的方式不同。现场表演称为有名的“七月歌台”。各地区组织一群歌手,舞者在一个临时搭建的舞台上表演。

Ullambana was introduced to Japan in the time of tang and sui dynasty, called O-bon, or simply bon. It has existed in Japan for more than 500 years. It is held from of July 13, to welcome O-bon, to July 16 for farewell. O-bon is the Japanese version of the Ghost Festival, which has since been transformed over time into a family reunion holiday during which people from the big cities return to their home towns and visits and cleans their ancestors' graves. Chugen is an annual event when people give gifts to their superiors and acquaintances. Traditionally it includes a dance, too.
盂兰盆节在隋唐时期被引进日本,叫做O-bon,或者简单地称为bon。这个节日在日本存在500年了。盂兰盆节在日本被看做一种家庭团聚的节日。人们在节日期间从城市回到乡村祭祖和扫墓。人们在中元节这天给自己的上级和熟人送礼物。传统地,还有舞蹈。

Some superstitions have been presenting until now. One of the superstitions that the Chinese have about the festival is that it is bad to go swimming during the 7th month. They think that an evil spirit might cause you to drown in the water. In addition to this, children are also advised to return home early and not to wander around alone at night. This belief is due to the reason that the wandering ghosts might possess children. Usually in the hungry ghost month, no one will get married.
一些迷信直到现在还存在。其中一个中国人关于节日的迷信就是不能在七月游泳。他们认为恶鬼会使人溺死水中。除此之外,孩子们必须早回家,晚上不能再外面玩很久。有这种观点的原因就是在外游荡的鬼魂可能回吃小孩。通常来说,没有人会在七月结婚。



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