Lantern Festival: The ‘real’ Chinese Valentine’s Day 元宵节:赏灯约会,这才是真正的情人节

2018-03-02 16:09 chinadaily.com.cn

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今天是元宵节,春节的欢庆进入尾声。人们在今晚赏月、看灯、团聚,然后,等待下一个春节。

其实,从历史上来说,元宵节才是我国真正意义上的情人节。

The Lantern Festival has been part of Chinese New Year celebrations since the Han Dynasty (206 BC-221 AD).

自汉朝(公元前206年—公元221年)起,元宵节就已成为了春节庆祝活动的一部分了。

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, people used torches. These torches gave way to lanterns of every shape, size and color.

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,人们都会用火把照明,而这些火把也逐渐被形状、大小、颜色各异的灯笼所取代。

Despite the fact that most Chinese dynasties had curfews during the night, all the people were allowed to stay out on the days around the Lantern Festival. The Chinese women, who had to stay indoors for most of their lives, were permitted to admire the lanterns and the full moon on the day as well.

中国古代的大多数朝代都在夜晚实行宵禁,但是在元宵节前后那几天,允许人们在外流连。古代中国女性一生大部分时间都深居闺中,在元宵节之夜她们也获准可以出门赏灯赏月。

Therefore, it was almost the only time for young men and women to meet with each other and fall in love, according to experts.

因此,元宵节是青年男女可以相见并相恋的唯一机会。

The other evidence of the Lantern Festival being Chinese Valentine’s Day is recorded in Chinese literature. In the thousands of ancient poems passed on from the Tang and Song dynasties, many depicted ardent love for their partners.

元宵节是中国情人节的另一个证明记录在中国的文学作品中。唐宋时期数千首古诗中,很多都描述对伴侣的深情。

比如,辛弃疾的这首《青玉案·元夕》。

青玉案·元夕

(宋)辛弃疾

东风夜放花千树,更吹落,星如雨。

宝马雕车香满路,凤萧声动,壶光转,一夜鱼龙舞。

蛾儿雪柳黄金缕,笑语盈盈暗香去。

众里寻他千百度,蓦然回首,那人却在,灯火阑珊处。

The Lantern Festival Night - to the tune of Green Jade Table

by Xin Qiji 许渊冲、许明译

One night's east wind adorns a thousand trees with flowers

And blows down stars in showers.

Fine steeds and carved cabs spread fragrance en route;

Music vibrates from the flute;

The moon sheds its full light

While fish and dragon lanterns dance all night.

In gold-thread dress, with moth or willow ornaments,

Giggling, she melts into the throng with trails of scents

But in the crowd once and again

I look for her in vain.

When all at once I turn my head,

I find her there where lantern light is dimly shed.

元宵节的其他习俗

猜灯谜

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

元宵节传统习俗中有猜灯谜的游戏。在过去,这些谜语大多与中国文学典故有关,所以猜灯谜以前多为知识份子的“领地”。

到了现代,猜灯谜自然是每个人都能参与的节日游戏。我们在这里列几个中文和英文灯谜,看看你能猜出多少。(答案见文末)

英文灯谜

Why is the letter E so important?

What clothing is always sad?

What is higher without a head than with a head?

What stays hot even if put in a refrigerator?

中文灯谜

思(打一字)

丰收(打一字)

足球门(打一成语)

乖(打一成语)

举重比赛(打一成语)

吃元宵(汤圆)

Like most Chinese festivals, the Lantern Festival has its own special food, called "yuanxiao" or "tangyuan". These are round, glutinous rice dumplings with sweet or saly fillings. The dumplings are said to symbolize both the first full moon and family unity and completeness.

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“元宵”或“汤圆”。元宵外形圆圆的,外皮由糯米制成,内馅或甜或咸。人们都说汤圆有两个象征意义,一为农历的第一个满月,二为家庭团聚圆满。

舞龙舞狮

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.

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、吹奏铜管乐器的队伍。

Today, the connotation of love in the festival has been almost lost, as young couples could date whenever they want and women are no longer confined indoors. But the lantern shows remain the focus of the festival.

如今,元宵节中跟爱情有关的含义已经消失殆尽,女性不再深居简出,年轻的情侣们随时可以约会。不过,灯展依旧是元宵节的重头戏。

祝大家元宵节快乐! 

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英文灯谜答案

Because it is the beginning of everything.

Blue jeans.

A pillow.

Pepper.

中文灯谜答案

网开一面

乘人不备

斤斤计较

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen)

来源标题:元宵节:赏灯约会,这才是真正的情人节

责任编辑:Ai Ting(QN0043)