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传统节日英汉双语介绍
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传统节日英汉双语介绍

The Spring Festival(春节)
The first day of the first lunar month is the New Year in the Chinese lunar calendar. Among the traditional Chinese festivals, this is the most important and the most bustling. Since it occurs at the end of winter and the beginning of spring, people also call it the Spring Festival.
Chinese have many traditional customs relating to the Spring Festival. Since the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month, people start to prepare for the event. Every family will undertake thorough cleaning, do their Spring Festival shopping, create paper-cuts for window decoration, put up New Year pictures, write Spring Festival couplets, make New Year cakes, and also prepare all kinds of food to bid farewell to the old and usher in the new.
New Year's Eve is the time for a happy reunion of all family members, when they sit around the table to have a sumptuous New Year's Eve dinner, talking and laughing, until daybreak, which is called "staying up to see the year out". When the bell tolls midnight on New Year's Eve, people eat dumplings. In ancient times, midnight was called zishi (a period of the day from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.). Dumplings (jiaozi) are eaten because it sounds the same as "change of the year and the day" in Chinese.
From the first day of the lunar year, people pay New Year calls on relatives and friends, which is an important custom for the Spring Festival.
Setting off firecrackers is the favorite activity of children in the Spring Festival. According to legend, this could drive off evil spirits. The continuous sound of firecrackers can be heard everywhere, adding to the atmosphere of rejoicing and festivity.
Many places hold temple fairs. The wonderful dragon lantern dance and the lion dance performances, along with various handicraft articles and local snacks attract thousands of people.
With the development of the times, some changes have taken place in the customs of spending the Spring Festival. For example, to prevent environmental pollution, many cities have banned firecrackers. But this does not have an impact on the happy atmosphere of the festival. On New Year's Eve, family members get together to have dinner while watching TV programs.
For Chinese at home and abroad, the Spring Festival is always the most important festival.
农历的正(zheng)月初一,是中国的农历新年。在中国的传统节日中,这是一个最重要、最热闹的节日。因为过农历新年的时候,正是冬末春初,所以人们也把这个节日叫“春节”。
中国人过春节有很多传统习俗。从腊月二十三起,人们就开始准备过年了。在这段时间里,家家户户要大扫除,买年货,贴窗花,挂年画,写春联,蒸年糕,做好各种食品,准备辞旧迎新。
春节的前夜叫“除夕”。除夕之夜,是家人团聚的时候。一家人围坐在一起,吃一顿丰盛的年夜饭,说说笑笑,直到天亮,这叫守岁。除夕零点的钟声一响,人们还要吃饺子。古时候叫零点为“子时”,除夕的子时正是新旧年交替的时候,人们在这时吃饺子,是取“更岁交子”的意思。这也是“饺子”名称的由来。
过了除夕就是大年初一。从初一开始,人们要走亲戚、看朋友,互相拜年。拜年,是春节的重要习俗。拜年时,大家都要说一些祝愿幸福、健康的吉祥话。
放爆竹是春节期间孩子们最喜欢的活动。传说燃放爆竹可以驱妖除魔,所以每年从除夕之夜起,到处就响起了接连不断的爆竹声。阵阵烟花,声声爆竹,给节日增添了喜庆的气氛。
春节期间,很多地方还要举办庙会。庙会上精彩的舞龙舞狮表演,各式各样的工艺品和地方小吃,吸引千千万万欢度佳节的人们。
随时代的发展,过春节的习俗也有了一些变化。比如,为防止环境污染,很多城市已禁止燃放烟花爆竹。但这并不影响节日的热闹气氛。除夕之夜,家家户户仍然要团聚在一起,一边吃年夜饭,一边看精彩的电视节目,直到大年初一的清晨。
在中国和世界各地华夏子孙的心中,春节永远是最重要的节日。
 

Lantern Festival(元宵节)
The Lantern Festival falls on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, usually in February or March in the Gregorian calendar. As early as the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 25), it had become a festival with great significance.
This day's important activity is watching lanterns. Throughout the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), Buddhism flourished in China. One emperor heard that Buddhist monks would watch sarira, or remains from the cremation of Buddha's body, and light lanterns to worship Buddha on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, so he ordered to light lanterns in the imperial palace and temples to show respect to Buddha on this day. Later, the Buddhist rite developed into a grand festival among common people and its influence expanded from the Central Plains to the whole of China.
Till today, the lantern festival is still held each year around the country. Lanterns of various shapes and sizes are hung in the streets, attracting countless visitors. Children will hold self-made or bought lanterns to stroll with on the streets, extremely excited.
"Guessing lantern riddles"is an essential part of the Festival. Lantern owners write riddles on a piece of paper and post them on the lanterns. If visitors have solutions to the riddles, they can pull the paper out and go to the lantern owners to check their answer. If they are right, they will get a little gift. The activity emerged during people's enjoyment of lanterns in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). As riddle guessing is interesting and full of wisdom, it has become popular among all social strata.
People will eat yuanxiao, or rice dumplings, on this day, so it is also called the "Yuanxiao Festival."Yuanxiao also has another name, tangyuan. It is small dumpling balls made of glutinous rice flour with rose petals, sesame, bean paste, jujube paste, walnut meat, dried fruit, sugar and edible oil as filling. Tangyuan can be boiled, fried or steamed. It tastes sweet and delicious. What's more, tangyuan in Chinese has a similar pronunciation with "tuanyuan”, meaning reunion. So people eat them to denote union, harmony and happiness for the family.
In the daytime of the Festival, performances such as a dragon lantern dance, a lion dance, a land boat dance, a yangge dance, walking on stilts and beating drums while dancing will be staged. On the night, except for magnificent lanterns, fireworks form a beautiful scene. Most families spare some fireworks from the Spring Festival and let them off in the Lantern Festival. Some local governments will even organize a fireworks party. On the night when the first full moon enters the New Year, people become really intoxicated by the imposing fireworks and bright moon in the sky.
每年农历的正月十五日,春节刚过,迎来的就是中国的传统节日--元宵节。
元宵主要的活动就是看灯。东汉明帝时期,明帝提倡佛教,听说佛教有正月十五日僧人观佛舍利,点灯敬佛的做法,就命令这一天夜晚在皇宫和寺庙里点灯敬佛,令士族庶民都挂灯。以后这种佛教礼仪节日逐渐形成民间盛大的节日。该节经历了由宫廷到民间,由中原到全国的发展过程。
直到今天,元宵点灯的习俗仍然在中国的各地流传的,各式各样美丽的花灯在这一天都会点亮,孩子们提着自制的灯笼走街串巷,非常高兴。
猜灯谜也是元宵节的一项重要活动,花灯的主人会将谜面写在灯笼上,挂在门口,如果有人可以猜中,就能得到小小的礼物。这项活动最早起源于宋朝,因为谜语能启迪智慧又饶有兴趣,所以流传过程中深受社会各阶层的欢迎。
民间过元宵节吃元宵的习俗。元宵由糯米制成,或实心,或带馅。馅有豆沙、白糖、山楂、各类果料等,食用时煮、煎、蒸、炸皆可。起初,人们把这种食物叫“浮圆子”,后来又叫“汤团”或“汤圆”,这些名称“团圆”字音相近,取团圆之意,象征全家人团团圆圆,和睦幸福,人们也以此怀念离别的亲人,寄托了对未来生活的美好愿望。
随着时间的推移,元宵节的活动越来越多,白天有耍龙灯、耍狮子、踩高跷、划旱船扭秧歌、打太平鼓等传统民俗表演。到了夜晚,除了五颜六色的美花灯之外,还有艳丽多姿的烟火。大多数家庭会在春节时留下一些烟花等到元宵节这天燃放,而一些地方政府也会举办烟花大会,当新年的第一个月圆之夜在盛大的烟火表演中来临时,人们都陶醉在这令人难忘了烟花与皎洁的明月中。
 

Qingming Festival (清明节)
The Qingming (Pure Brightness) Festival is one of the 24 seasonal division points in China, falling on April 4-6 each year. After the festival, the temperature will rise up and rainfall increases. It is the high time for spring plowing and sowing. But the Qingming Festival is not only a seasonal point to guide farm work, it is more a festival of commemoration.
The Qingming Festival sees a combination of sadness and happiness.
This is the most important day of sacrifice. Both the Han and minority ethnic groups at this time offer sacrifices to their ancestors and sweep the tombs of the diseased. Also, they will not cook on this day and only cold food is served.
The Hanshi (Cold Food) Festival was usually one day before the Qingming Festival. As our ancestors often extended the day to the Qingming, they were later combined.
On each Qingming Festival, all cemeteries are crowded with people who came to sweep tombs and offer sacrifices. Traffic on the way to the cemeteries becomes extremely jammed. The customs have been greatly simplified today. After slightly sweeping the tombs, people offer food, flowers and favorites of the dead, then burn incense and paper money and bow before the memorial tablet.
In contrast to the sadness of the tomb sweepers, people also enjoy hope of Spring on this day. The Qingming Festival is a time when the sun shines brightly, the trees and grass become green and nature is again lively. Since ancient times, people have followed the custom of Spring outings. At this time tourists are everywhere.
People love to fly kites during the Qingming Festival. Kite flying is actually not limited to the Qingming Festival. Its uniqueness lies in that people fly kites not during the day, but also at night. A string of little lanterns tied onto the kite or the thread look like shining stars, and therefore, are called "god's lanterns."
The Qingming Festival is also a time to plant trees, for the survival rate of saplings is high and trees grow fast later. In the past, the Qingming Festival was called "Arbor Day". But since 1979, "Arbor Day" was settled as March 12 according to the Gregorian calendar.
清明是我国的二十四节气之一。由于二十四节气比较客观地反映了一年四季气温、降雨、物候等方面的变化,所以古代劳动人民用它安排农事活动。但是,清明作为节日,与纯粹的节气又有所不同。节气是我国物候变化、时令顺序的标志,而节日则包含着一定的风俗活动和某种纪念意义。因此,这个节日中既有祭扫新坟生别死离的悲酸泪,又有踏青游玩的欢笑声,是一个富有特色的节日。
清明节是我国传统节日,也是最重要的祭祀节日,是祭祖和扫墓的日子。扫墓俗称上坟,祭祀死者的一种活动。汉族和一些少数民族大多都是在清明节扫墓。由于清明与寒食的日子接近,而寒食是民间禁火扫墓的日子,渐渐的,寒食与清明就合二为一了,而寒食既成为清明的别称,也变成为清明时节的一个习俗,清明之日不动烟火,只吃凉的食品。
按照旧的习俗,扫墓时,人们要携带酒食果品、纸钱等物品到墓地,将食物供祭在亲人墓前,再将纸钱焚化,为坟墓培上新土,折几枝嫩绿的新枝插在坟上,然后叩头行礼祭拜,最后吃掉酒食回家。
与清明节扫墓的悲哀相反,人们在这个春光明媚的日子里,也一样是可以享受生活的。
放风筝也是清明时节人们所喜爱的活动。每逢清明时节,人们不仅白天放,夜间也放。夜里在风筝下或风稳拉线上挂上一串串彩色的小灯笼,象闪烁的明星,被称为“神灯”。
清明前后,春阳照临,春阳照临,春雨飞洒,种植树苗成活率高,成长快。因此,自古以来,我国就有清明植树的习惯。有人还把清明节叫作“植树节”。植树风俗一直流传至今。1979年,人大常委会规定,每年三月十二日为我国植树节。这对动员全国各族人民积极开展绿化祖国活动,有着十分重要的意义。
 

Dragon Boat Festival(端午节)
The Dragon Boat Festival, the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, has had a history of more than 2,000 years. It is usually in June in the Gregorian calendar.
There are many legends about the evolution of the festival, the most popular of which is in commemoration of Qu Yuan (340-278 BC). Qu Yuan was minister of the State of Chu and one of China's earliest poets. In face of great pressure from the powerful Qin State, he advocated enriching the country and strengthening its military forces so as to fight against the Qin. However, he was opposed by aristocrats headed by Zi Lan, and later deposed and exiled by King Huai. In his exiled days, he still cared much for his country and people and composed immortal poems including Li Sao (The Lament), Tian Wen (Heavenly Questions) and Jiu Ge (Nine Songs), which had far-reaching influences. In 278 BC, he heard the news that Qin troops had finally conquered Chu's capital, so he finished his last piece Huai Sha (Embracing Sand) and plunged himself into the Miluo River, clasping his arms to a large stone. The day happened to be the 5th of the 5th month in the Chinese lunar calendar. After his death, the people of Chu crowded to the bank of the river to pay their respects to him. The fishermen sailed their boats up and down the river to look for his body. People threw into the water zongzi (pyramid-shaped glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in reed or bamboo leaves) and eggs to divert possible fish or shrimp from attacking his body. An old doctor poured a jug of reaglar wine (Chinese liquor seasoned with realgar) into the water, hoping to turn all aquatic beasts drunk. That's why people later followed the customs such as dragon boat racing, eating zongzi and drinking realgar wine on that day.
Dragon boat racing is an indispensable part of the festival, held all over the country. As the gun is fired, people will see racers in dragon-shaped canoes pulling the oars harmoniously and hurriedly, accompanied by rapid drums, speeding toward their destination. Folk tales say the game originates from the activities of seeking Qu Yuan's body, but experts, after painstaking and meticulous research, conclude that dragon boat racing is a semi-religious, semi-entertaining program from the Warring States Period (475-221 BC). In the following thousands of years, the game spread to Japan, Vietnam and Britain as well as China's Taiwan and Hong Kong. Now dragon boat racing has developed into an aquatic sports item which features both Chinese tradition and modern sporting spirit. In 1980, it was listed into the state sports competition programs and has since been held every year. The award is called "Qu Yuan Cup."
Zongzi is an essential food of the Dragon Boat Festival. It is said that people ate them in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). In early times, it was only glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in reed or other plant leaves and tied with colored thread, but now the fillings are more diversified, including jujube and bean paste, fresh meat, and ham and egg yolk. If time permits, people will soak glutinous rice, wash reed leaves and wrap up zongzi themselves. Otherwise, they will go to shops to buy whatever stuff they want. The custom of eating zongzi is now popular in North and South Korea, Japan and Southeast Asian nations.
On Dragon Boat Festival, parents also need to dress their children up with a perfume pouch. They first sew little bags with colorful silk cloth, then fill the bags with perfumes or herbal medicines, and finally string them with silk threads. The perfume pouch will be hung around the neck or tied to the front of a garment as an ornament. They are said to be able to ward off evil.
端午节是古老的传统节日,始于中国的春秋战国时期,至今已有2000多年历史。
据《史记》“屈原贾生列传”记载,屈原,是春秋时期楚怀王的大臣。他倡导举贤授能,富国强兵,力主联齐抗秦,遭到贵族子兰等人的强烈反对,屈原遭馋去职,被赶出都城,流放到沅、湘流域。他在流放中,写下了忧国忧民的《离骚》、《天问》、《九歌》等不朽诗篇,独具风貌,影响深远(因而,端午节也称诗人节)。公元前278年,秦军攻破楚国京都。屈原眼看自己的祖国被侵略,心如刀割,但是始终不忍舍弃自己的祖国,于五月五日,在写下了绝笔作《怀沙》之后,抱石投汨罗江身死,以自己的生命谱写了一曲壮丽的爱国主义乐章。
传说屈原死后,楚国百姓哀痛异常,纷纷涌到汨罗江边去凭吊屈原。渔夫们划起船只,在江上来回打捞他的真身。有位渔夫拿出为屈原准备的饭团、鸡蛋等食物,“扑通、扑通”地丢进江里,说是让鱼龙虾蟹吃饱了,就不会去咬屈大夫的身体了。人们见后纷纷仿效。一位老医师则拿来一坛雄黄酒倒进江里,说是要药晕蛟龙水兽,以免伤害屈大夫。后来为怕饭团为蛟龙所食,人们想出用楝树叶包饭,外缠彩丝,发展成棕子。
賽龙舟,是端午节的主要习俗。相传起源于古时楚国人因舍不得贤臣屈原投江死去,许多人划船追赶拯救。他们争先恐后,追至洞庭湖时不见踪迹。之后每年五月五日划龙舟以纪念之。借划龙舟驱散江中之鱼,以免鱼吃掉屈原的身体。竞渡之习,盛行于吴、越、楚。
其实 ,“龙舟竞渡”早在战国时代就有了。在急鼓声中划刻成龙形的独木舟,做竞渡游戏,以娱神与乐人,是祭仪中半宗教性、半娱乐性的节目。后来,赛龙舟除纪念屈原之外,在各地人们还付予了不同的寓意。此外,划龙舟也先后传入邻国日本、越南等及英国。1980年,赛龙舟被列入中国国家体育比赛项目,并每年举行“屈原杯”龙舟赛。
端午节吃粽子,这是中国人民的又一传统习俗。粽子,又叫“角黍”、“筒粽”。其由来已久,花样繁多。
据记载,早在春秋时期,用菰叶(茭白叶)包黍米成牛角状,称“角黍”;用竹筒装米密封烤熟,称“筒粽”。一直到今天,每年五月初,中国百姓家家都要浸糯米、洗粽叶、包粽子,其花色品种更为繁多。从馅料看,北方多包小枣的北京枣粽;南方则有豆沙、鲜肉、火腿、蛋黄等多种馅料,其中以浙江嘉兴粽子为代表。吃粽子的风俗,千百年来,在中国盛行不衰,而且流传到朝鲜、日本及东南亚诸国。
端午节小孩佩香囊,传说有避邪驱瘟之意,实际是用于襟头点缀装饰。香囊内有朱砂、雄黄、香药,外包以丝布,清香四溢,再以五色丝线弦扣成索,作各种不同形状,结成一串,形形色色,玲珑可爱。
 

Double Seventh Festival (七夕)
The Double Seventh Festival, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, is a traditional festival full of romance. It often goes into August in the Gregorian calendar.
This festival is in mid-summer when the weather is warm and the grass and trees reveal their luxurious greens. At night when the sky is dotted with stars, and people can see the Milky Way spanning from the north to the south. On each bank of it is a bright star, which see each other from afar. They are the Cowherd and Weaver Maid, and about them there is a beautiful love story passed down from generation to generation.
Long, long ago, there was an honest and kind-hearted fellow named Niu Lang (Cowhand). His parents died when he was a child. Later he was driven out of his home by his sister-in-law. So he lived by himself herding cattle and farming. One day, a fairy from heaven Zhi Nu (Weaver Maid) fell in love with him and came down secretly to earth and married him. The cowhand farmed in the field and the Weaver Maid wove at home. They lived a happy life and gave birth to a boy and a girl. Unfortunately, the God of Heaven soon found out the fact and ordered the Queen Mother of the Western Heavens to bring the Weaver Maid back.
With the help of celestial cattle, the Cowhand flew to heaven with his son and daughter. At the time when he was about to catch up with his wife, the Queen Mother took off one of her gold hairpins and made a stroke. One billowy river appeared in front of the Cowhand. The Cowhand and Weaver Maid were separated on the two banks forever and could only feel their tears. Their loyalty to love touched magpies, so tens of thousands of magpies came to build a bridge for the Cowhand and Weaver Maid to meet each other. The Queen Mother was eventually moved and allowed them to meet each year on the 7th of the 7th lunar month. Hence their meeting date has been called "Qi Xi" (Double Seventh).
Scholars have shown the Double Seventh Festival originated from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD220). Historical documents from the Eastern Jin Dynasty (AD371-420) mention the festival, while records from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) depict the grand evening banquet of Emperor Taizong and his concubines. By the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1279-1368) dynasties, special articles for the "Qi Xi" were seen being sold on markets in the capital. The bustling markets demonstrated the significance of the festival.
Today some traditional customs are still observed in rural areas of China, but have been weakened or diluted in urban cities. However, the legend of the Cowhand and Weaver Maid has taken root in the hearts of the people. In recent years, in particular, urban youths have celebrated it as Valentine's Day in China. As a result, owners of flower shops, bars and stores are full of joy as they sell more commodities for love.
在我国,农历七月初七的夜晚,天气温暖,草木飘香,这就是人们俗称的七夕节,也有人称之为“乞巧节”或“女儿节”,这是中国传统节日中最具浪漫色彩的一个节日,也是过去姑娘们最为重视的日子。
在晴朗的夏秋之夜,天上繁星闪耀,一道白茫茫的银河横贯南北,争河的东西两岸,各有一颗闪亮的星星,隔河相望,遥遥相对,那就是牵牛星和织女星。
相传在很早以前,南阳城西牛家庄里有个聪明.忠厚的小伙子,父母早亡,只好跟着哥哥嫂子度日,嫂子马氏为人狠毒,经常虐待他,逼他干很多的活,一天,天上的织女和诸仙女一起下凡游戏,在河里洗澡,牛郎在老牛的帮助下认识了织女,二人互生情意,后来织女便偷偷下凡,来到人间,做了牛郎的妻子。男耕女织,情深意重,他们生了一男一女两个孩子,一家人生活得很幸福。但是好景不长,这事很快便让天帝知道,王母娘娘亲自下凡来,强行把织女带回天上,恩爱夫妻被拆散。
牛郎上天无路,还是老牛告诉牛郎,在它死后,可以用它的皮做成鞋,穿着就可以上天。牛郎按照老牛的话做了,穿上牛皮做的鞋,拉着自己的儿女,一起腾云驾雾上天去追织女,眼见就要追到了,岂知王母娘娘拔下头上的金簪一挥,一道波涛汹涌的天河就出现了,牛郎和织女被隔在两岸,只能相对哭泣流泪。他们的忠贞爱情感动了喜鹊,千万只喜鹊飞来,搭成鹊桥,让牛郎织女走上鹊桥相会,王母娘娘对此也无奈,只好允许两人在每年七月七日于鹊桥相会。
七夕乞巧,这个节日起源于汉代,东晋葛洪的《西京杂记》有“汉彩女常以七月七日穿七孔针于开襟楼,人俱习之”的记载,这便是我们于古代文献中所见到的最早的关于乞巧的记载。后来的唐宋诗词中,妇女乞巧也被屡屡提及,唐朝王建有诗说“阑珊星斗缀珠光,七夕宫娥乞巧忙”。据《开元天宝遗事》载:唐太宗与妃子每逢七夕在清宫夜宴,宫女们各自乞巧,这一习俗在民间也经久不衰,代代延续。
直到今日,七夕仍是一个富有浪漫色彩传统节日。但不少习俗活动已弱化或消失,惟有象征忠贞爱情的牛郎织女的传说,一直流传民间。
 

Mid-Autumn Festival(中秋节)
The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, usually in October in Gregorian calendar.
The festival has a long history. In ancient China, emperors followed the rite of offering sacrifices to the sun in spring and to the moon in autumn. Historical books of the Zhou Dynasty had had the word "Mid-Autumn". Later aristocrats and literary figures helped expand the ceremony to common people. They enjoyed the full, bright moon on that day, worshipped it and expressed their thoughts and feelings under it. By the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Mid-Autumn Festival had been fixed, which became even grander in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). In the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, it grew to be a major festival of China.
Folklore about the origin of the festival go like this: In remote antiquity, there were ten suns rising in the sky, which scorched all crops and drove people into dire poverty. A hero named Hou Yi was much worried about this, he ascended to the top of the Kunlun Mountain and, directing his superhuman strength to full extent, drew his extraordinary bow and shot down the nine superfluous suns one after another. He also ordered the last sun to rise and set according to time. For this reason, he was respected and loved by the people and lots of people of ideals and integrity came to him to learn martial arts from him. A person named Peng Meng lurked in them.
Hou Yi had a beautiful and kindhearted wife named Chang E. One day on his way to the Kunlun Mountain to call on friends, he ran upon the Empress of Heaven Wangmu who was passing by. Empress Wangmu presented to him a parcel of elixir, by taking which, it was said, one would ascend immediately to heaven and become a celestial being. Hou Yi, however, hated to part with his wife. So he gave the elixir to Chang E to treasure for the time being. Chang E hid the parcel in a treasure box at her dressing table when, unexpectedly, it was seen by Peng Meng.
One day when Hou Yi led his disciples to go hunting, Peng Meng, sword in hand, rushed into the inner chamber and forced Chang E to hand over the elixir. Aware that she was unable to defeat Peng Meng, Chang E made a prompt decision at that critical moment. She turned round to open her treasure box, took up the elixir and swallowed it in one gulp. As soon as she swallowed the elixir her body floated off the ground, dashed out of the window and flew towards heaven. Peng Meng escaped.
When Hou Yi returned home at dark, he knew from the maidservants what had happened. Overcome with grief, Hou Yi looked up into the night sky and called out the name of his beloved wife when, to his surprise, he found that the moon was especially clear and bight and on it there was a swaying shadow that was exactly like his wife. He tried his best to chase after the moon. But as he ran, the moon retreated; as he withdrew, the moon came back. He could not get to the moon at all.
Thinking of his wife day and night, Hou Yi then had an incense table arranged in the back garden that Chang E loved. Putting on the table sweetmeats and fresh fruits Chang E enjoyed most, Hou Yi held at a distance a memorial ceremony for Chang E who was sentimentally attached to him in the palace of the moon.
When people heard of the story that Chang E had turned into a celestial being, they arranged the incense table in the moonlight one after another and prayed kindhearted Chang E for good fortune and peace. From then on the custom of worshiping the moon spread among the people.
People in different places follow various customs, but all show their love and longing for a better life. Today people will enjoy the full moon and eat moon cakes on that day.
The moon looks extremely round, big and bright on the 15th day of each lunar month. People selected the August 15 to celebrate because it is a season when crops and fruits are all ripe and weather pleasant. On the Mid-Autumn Festival, all family members or friends meet outside, putting food on tables and looking up at the sky while talking about life. How splendid a moment it is!
每年农历八月十五日,是传统的中秋佳节。这时是一年秋季的中期,所以被称为中秋。
中秋节有悠久的历史,和其它传统节日一样,也是慢慢发展形成的,古代帝王有春天祭日,秋天祭月的礼制,早在《周礼》一书中,已有“中秋”一词的记载。后来贵族和文人学士也仿效起来,在中秋时节,对着天上又亮又圆一轮皓月,观赏祭拜,寄托情怀,这种习俗就这样传到民间,形成一个传统的活动,一直到了唐代,这种祭月的风俗更为人们重视,中秋节才成为固定的节日,《唐书•太宗记》记载有“八月十五中秋节”,这个节日盛行于宋朝,至明清时,已与元旦齐名,成为我国的主要节日之一。
相传,远古时候天上有十日同时出现,晒得庄稼枯死,民不聊生,一个名叫后羿的英雄,力大无穷,他同情受苦的百姓,登上昆仑山顶,运足神力,拉开神弓,一气射下九个多太阳,并严令最后一个太阳按时起落,为民造福。后羿因此受到百姓的尊敬和爱戴,不少志士慕名前来投师学艺,心术不正的蓬蒙也混了进来。
后羿有一个美丽的妻子叫“嫦娥”。一天,后羿到昆仑山访友求道,巧遇由此经过的王母娘娘,便向王母求得一包不死药。据说,服下此药,能即刻升天成仙。然而,后羿舍不得撇下妻子,只好暂时把不死药交给嫦娥珍藏。嫦娥将药藏进梳妆台的百宝匣里,不料被小人蓬蒙看见了。
一天,率众徒外出狩猎,蓬蒙手持宝剑闯入内宅后院,威逼嫦娥交出不死药。嫦娥知道自己不是蓬蒙的对手,危急之时她当机立断,转身打开百宝匣,拿出不死药一口吞了下去。嫦娥吞下药,身子立时飘离地面、冲出窗口,向天上飞去。蓬蒙便借机逃走了。
傍晚,后羿回到家,侍女们哭诉了白天发生的事。后羿气得捶胸顿足,悲痛欲绝,仰望着夜空呼唤爱妻的名字,这时他惊奇地发现,今天的月亮格外皎洁明亮,而且有个晃动的身影酷似嫦娥。他拼命朝月亮追去,可是他追三步,月亮退三步,他退三步,月亮进三步,无论怎样也追不到跟前。
后羿无可奈何,又思念妻子,只好派人到嫦娥喜爱的后花园里,摆上香案,放上她平时最爱吃的蜜食鲜果,遥祭在月宫里眷恋着自己的嫦娥。百姓们闻知嫦娥奔月成仙的消息后,纷纷在月下摆设香案,向善良的嫦娥祈求吉祥平安。
中秋节的习俗很多,形式也各不相同,但都寄托着人们对生活无限的热爱和对美好生活的向往。
在今天,中秋节的时候,人们都会吃月饼。月下游玩的习俗,已远没有旧时盛行。但设宴赏月仍很盛行,人们把酒问月,庆贺美好的生活,或祝远方的亲人健康快乐,和家人“千里共婵娟”。
 

Double Ninth Festival(重阳节)
The 9th day of the 9th lunar month is the traditional Chongyang Festival, or Double Ninth Festival. It usually falls in October in the Gregorian calendar. In an ancient and mysterious book Yi Jing, or The Book of Changes, number "6" was thought to be of Yin character, meaning feminine or negative, while number "9" was thought to be Yang, meaning masculine or positive. So the number nine in both month and day create the Double Ninth Festival, or Chongyang Festival. Chong in Chinese means "double." Also, as double ninth was pronounced the same as the word to signify "forever", both are "Jiu Jiu," the Chinese ancestors considered it an auspicious day worth celebration. That's why ancient Chinese began to celebrate this festival long time ago.
The custom of ascending a height to avoid epidemics was passed down from long time ago. Therefore, the Double Ninth Festival is also called "Height Ascending Festival". The height people will reach is usually a mountain or a tower. Ancient literary figures have left many poems depicting the activity. Even today, people still swarm to famous or little known mountains on this day.
On this day, people will eat Double Ninth Gao (or Cake). In Chinese, gao (cake) has the same pronunciation with gao (height). People do so just to hope progress in everything they are engaged in. There is no fixed ways for the Double Ninth Cake, but super cakes will have as many as nine layers, looking like a tower.
The Double Ninth Festival is also a time when chrysanthemum blooms. China boasts diversified species of chrysanthemum and people have loved them since ancient times. So enjoying the flourishing chrysanthemum also becomes a key activity on this festival. Also, people will drink chrysanthemum wine. Women used to stick such a flower into their hair or hang its branches on windows or doors to avoid evilness.
In 1989, the Chinese government decided the Double Ninth Festival as Seniors' Day. Since then, all government units, organizations and streets communities will organize an autumn trip each year for those who have retired from their posts. At the waterside or on the mountains, the seniors will find themselves merged into nature. Younger generations will bring elder ones to suburban areas or send gifts to them on this day.
农历九月九日,为传统的重阳节。因为古老的《易经》中把“六”定为阴数,把“九”定为阳数,九月九日,日月并阳,两九相重,故而叫重阳,也叫重九,古人认为是个值得庆贺的吉利日子,并且从很早就开始过此节日。
在古代,民间在重阳有登高的风俗,故重阳节又叫“登高节”。相传此风俗始于东汉。唐代文人所写的登高诗很多,大多是写重阳节的习俗;杜甫的七律《登高》,就是写重阳登高的名篇。登高所到之处,没有划一的规定,一般是登高山、登高塔。
在这一天,人们还有吃“重阳糕”的习俗。在汉语里,“糕”与“高”同音,”,人们会用“吃糕”代替“登高”,祝愿百事俱高。重阳糕又称花糕、菊糕、五色糕,制无定法,较为随意。最高的有九层,像一个塔。
重阳节正是一年的金秋时节,菊花盛开,民间还把农历九月称为“菊月”,在菊花傲霜怒放的重阳节里,观赏菊花成了节日的一项重要内容,当然,人们也会喝一些菊花酒。女人会把茱萸插在头上或挂在门口,可以避难消灾。
今天的重阳节,被赋予了新的含义,在1989年,我国把每年的九月九日定为老人节,传统与现代巧妙地结合,成为尊老、敬老、爱老、助老的老年人的节日。全国各机关、团体、街道,往往都在此时组织从工作岗位上退下来的老人们秋游赏景,或临水玩乐,或登山健体,让身心都沐浴在大自然的怀抱里;不少家庭的晚辈也会搀扶着年老的长辈到郊外活动或为老人准备一些可口的饮食。
 

Winter Solstice (冬至)
As early as 2,500 years ago, about the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), China had determined the point of Winter Solstice by observing movements of the sun with a sundial. It is the earliest of the 24 seasonal division points. The time will be each December 22 or 23 according to the Gregorian calendar.
The Northern hemisphere on this day experiences the shortest daytime and longest nighttime. After the Winter Solstice, days will become longer and longer. As ancient Chinese thought, the yang, or muscular, positive things will become stronger and stronger after this day, so it should be celebrated.
The Winter Solstice became a festival during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) and thrived in the Tang and Song dynasties (618-1279). The Han people regarded Winter Solstice as a "Winter Festival", so officials would organize celebrating activities. On this day, both officials and common people would have a rest. The army was stationed in, frontier fortresses closed and business and traveling stopped. Relatives and friends presented to each other delicious food. In the Tang and Song dynasties, the Winter Solstice was a day to offer scarifies to Heaven and ancestors. Emperors would go to suburbs to worship the Heaven; while common people offered sacrifices to their deceased parents or other relatives. The Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) even had the record that "Winter Solstice is as formal as the Spring Festival," showing the great importance attached to this day.
In some parts of Northern China, people eat dumpling soup on this day; while residents of some other places eat dumplings, saying doing so will keep them from frost in the upcoming winter. But in parts of South China, the whole family will get together to have a meal made of red-bean and glutinous rice to drive away ghosts and other evil things. In other places, people also eat tangyuan, a kind of stuffed small dumpling ball made of glutinous rice flour. The Winter Solstice rice dumplings could be used as sacrifices to ancestors, or gifts for friends and relatives. The Taiwan people even keep the custom of offering nine-layer cakes to their ancestors. They make cakes in the shape of chicken, duck, tortoise, pig, cow or sheep with glutinous rice flour and steam them on different layers of a pot. These animals all signify auspiciousness in Chinese tradition. People of the same surname or family clan gather at their ancestral temples to worship their ancestors in age order. After the sacrificial ceremony, there is always a grand banquet.
冬至,是我国农历中一个非常重要的节气,也是一个传统节日,至今仍有不少地方有过冬至节的习俗。冬至俗称“冬节”、“长至节”、“亚岁”等。早在二千五百多年前的春秋时代,我国已经用土圭观测太阳测定出冬至来了,它是二十四节气中最早制订出的一个。时间在每年的阳历12月22日或者23日之间。
冬至是北半球全年中白天最短、黑夜最长的一天,过了冬至,白天就会一天天变长。古人对冬至的说法是:阴极之至,阳气始生,日南至,日短之至,日影长之至,故曰“冬至”。冬至过后,各地气候都进入一个最寒冷的阶段,也就是人们常说的“进九”,我国民间有“冷在三九,热在三伏”的说法。现代天文科学测定,冬至日太阳直射南回归线,阳光对北半球最倾斜,北半球白天最短,黑夜最长,这天之后,太阳又逐渐北移。
在我国古代对冬至很重视,冬至被当作一个较大节日,曾有“冬至大如年”的说法,而且有庆贺冬至的习俗。《汉书》中说:“冬至阳气起,君道长,故贺。”人们认为:过了冬至,白昼一天比一天长,阳气回升,是一个节气循环的开始,也是一个吉日,应该庆贺。《晋书》上记载有“魏晋冬至日受万国及百僚称贺……其仪亚于正旦。”说明古代对冬至日的重视。
现在,一些地方还把冬至作为一个节日来过。北方地区有冬至宰羊,吃饺子、吃馄饨的习俗,南方地区在这一天则有吃冬至米团、冬至长线面的习惯。各个地区在冬至这一天还有祭天祭祖的习俗。

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