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元宵节快乐 Happy Lantern Day


何为元宵节

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. 元宵节是在阴历的元月15号,通常在阳历的二月或者三月。早在西汉时期(公元前206年-公元25年)元宵节就已经成为具有重要意义的节日。 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 grandfestival among common people and its influence expanded from the Central Plains to the whole of China.

元宵节做哪些事?

The lanterns

灯笼

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.


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。


Lantern riddles (cai deng mi)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 obscure literary allusions to the Chinese classics and so were mainly the preserve of the educated classes.


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”。


Special foods特色小吃

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.

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。


Entertainment娱乐活动

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、吹奏乐器的队伍。

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