现在的圣诞习俗与过去有何不同?

作者:admin

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2016-12-18 16:15

Christmas Traditions, Past and Present
圣诞节的往昔与今朝


Americans may have made some changes in the way they celebrate Christmas over the years, but some important traditions--like friends and family--remain the same. According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted among a representative sample of 2,001 adults nationwide, nine out of every 10 Americans celebrate Christmas.
多年来,美国人在庆祝圣诞节的方式上做了很多改变,但一些重要的传统还是保留至今,例如在那天与朋友和家人相聚。根据佩尤研究中心对全国2001名具有代表性的成年人进行的调查显示,十个里面有九个美国人会庆祝圣诞。

However, only around half of those who celebrate view it as a religious holiday, while one-third see it as a cultural celebration, rather than one of faith. Religion is far less central to young peoples’ observances of Christmas, the survey found, with only 39 percent of those aged 18-29 viewing it as a religious holiday, compared with 66 percent of those aged 65 and older.
然而,会庆祝圣诞节的人中只有差不多一半把它视作为一个宗教节日;而三分之一的人会将它看作一个文化庆典,而不是一种信仰。在年轻人的眼中,宗教远远不是圣诞节的核心,经调查发现,18-29岁的人中只有39%的人把它当做一个宗教节日,与之相比,65岁及以上的人有66%把圣诞节视为宗教节日。

According to Christian theology, the Christmas holiday commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whose teachings form the basis of the Christian faith. Christians didn’t begin celebrating Christ’s birth until the third century A.D., when Roman church officials settled on December 25 (the Bible doesn’t mention the exact date), probably to coincide with already existing pagan winter festivals. Today, Christmas is not the most important Christian holiday–in fact, it ranks fourth after Easter, Pentecost and Epiphany. Yet since the 19th century, when Americans began to celebrate Christmas in the way we think of today–including traditions such as decorating trees, sending holiday cards and giving gifts–it has grown into the biggest commercial holiday of the year and is now celebrated by the vast majority of Americans, Christian or not.
根据基督教神学的理念,圣诞节是为了纪念拿撒勒耶稣的诞生,其传教为基督教信仰构建了雏形。基督教徒们从公元前三世纪才开始庆祝耶稣的诞生,当时罗马官方将日期定为12月25日(圣经中没有提到具体的日期),可能是为了和当时异教徒的冬季节日同步。如今,圣诞节已经不是基督教最重要的节日了,其重要地位居于复活节、圣灵降临节和主显节之后。之后,自十九世纪以来,美国人开始像现在一样庆祝圣诞节,包括装饰圣诞树、赠送节日贺卡和礼物等传统,从那时开始圣诞节已经成为每年最大的商业节日;现在绝大多数美国人都庆祝圣诞,不论他们是否是基督徒。

In an attempt to explore the changing nature of Christmas traditions, the Pew survey also asked its adult participants how they remember celebrating the holiday as children, compared to the way they celebrate it now. A whopping 86 percent said they plan to celebrate Christmas with family and friends, and the same percentage say they plan to give gifts to friends and family. Around nine in 10 adults (91 percent) said these activities were part of their holiday traditions when they were children. According to the survey, eight out of every 10 Americans (79 percent) plan to put up a Christmas tree this year, compared with 92 percent who said they typically put up a Christmas tree when they were children.
为了探讨圣诞节的传统的演变,佩尤调查还让这些成年参与者谈谈他们童年时是如何庆祝圣诞的。高达86%的受调查者说,他们是和家人朋友一起庆祝圣诞节的,也有相同比例的人说准备给朋友和家人送礼物。大约十分之一的成人(91%)表示,这些活动也是他们小时候过圣诞节的时候会做的事情。据调查,每10个美国人里有8个(79%)计划今年在家里布置一棵圣诞树,而92%的人说在他们小时候他们也通常会在圣诞节放一棵圣诞树。

Other holiday traditions remembered from childhood didn’t fare as well, however. While 81 percent of those surveyed said their families typically sent holiday cards during their childhoods, only 65 percent said they planned to do so this year. Only 16 percent said they would go caroling (compared with 36 percent who said they caroled during their childhood).
然而,其他的节日传统却跟童年时的不一样。尽管有81%的受调查者表示,在儿提时代,他们的家人通常会赠送节日贺卡,但只有6%5的人表示他们今年也会赠送贺卡。也只有16%的人说他们会去唱圣诞颂歌(与之相比,36%的人说他们也会在童年时唱圣诞颂歌)。

The Pew survey found that religious and non-religious Americans are relatively similar in their celebrations of the Christmas holiday, and that both cultural and religious observers were just as likely to gather with family, exchange gifts and take part in another popular Christmas tradition–Santa Claus. Among those adults surveyed who have a child who believes in Santa Claus, 69 percent said they plan to pretend that Santa visits their house on Christmas Eve this year. Perhaps more surprisingly, 18 percent of parents whose children do not believe in Santa will still pretend to get a visit from the jolly bearded fellow this Christmas, and so will 22 percent of adults who are not parents or guardians of any children.
佩尤调查还发现,有宗教信仰和无宗教信仰的美国人都在庆祝圣诞节的方式上不尽相同。文化和宗教人士会和家人聚在一起,互相交换礼物和沿袭其他广受欢迎的圣诞传统——比如扮圣诞老人。受调查者中还包括一些有孩子的成年人,那些孩子都相信有圣诞老人的存在,在这些受调查者中69%的人说,他们打算假扮圣诞老人在今年的圣诞夜上门拜访。也许更令人惊讶的是,还有18%的家长,尽管孩子不相信圣诞老人的存在,但仍然会假扮这个快乐的留着胡子的圣诞老人,也有22%的人虽然不是任何孩子的父母或是监护人,表示愿意这么做。