双语 | 元宵节为什么要翻成“灯笼节”?

来源:译世界 作者: 时间:2021/02/26


正月十五元宵节到咯~今天,Yee君就来和大家分享一些关于“元宵节”的英文表达。元宵节可不能译为“Yuanxiao Festival”,正确的表达是“Lantern Festival”,这里的 lantern 指的就是元宵节的标志之一“花灯”


另外,你知道元宵节是怎么来的吗?又有哪些习俗呢?快到正文里寻找答案吧~


Celebrated on the 15th day of the first Chinese lunar month, the Lantern Festival traditionally marks the end of the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) period. It's Tuesday, February 19 in 2019.

元宵节在农历正月十五庆祝,传统上标志着中国新年(春节)的结束。2019年的元宵节是2月19日。


People will go out to look at the moon, send up flying lanterns, have a meal, and enjoy time together with family and friends in parks and natural areas.

元宵节这天,人们会到户外赏月、放天灯、聚餐,享受和家人、朋友在一起的时光。



The Origin of the Lantern Festival

元宵节的起源



The Lantern Festival can be traced back to 2,000 years ago.

元宵节可以追溯到2000年前。


In the beginning of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220), Emperor Hanmingdi was an advocate of Buddhism. He heard that some monks lit lanterns in the temples to show respect to Buddha on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month.

东汉初期(25-220),汉明帝倡导佛教。他听说正月十五这天,一些僧人会在寺庙里点灯敬佛。


Therefore, he ordered that all the temples, households, and royal palaces should light lanterns on that evening.

因此,汉明帝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。


This Buddhist custom gradually became a grand festival among the people.

这一佛教习俗逐渐成为民间的盛大节日。



How Do Chinese Celebrate the Lantern Festival?

中国人怎样庆祝元宵节?



According to China's various folk customs, people get together on the night of the Lantern Festival to celebrate with different activities.

根据中国的各种民俗,人们在元宵节的晚上聚在一起,用不同的活动来庆祝。


The most important and prevalent customs are enjoying lanterns, guessing lantern riddles, eating tangyuan(yuanxiao), and lion dances.

最重要、最流行的习俗是赏灯、猜灯谜、吃汤圆(元宵)和舞狮。



1. Lighting and Watching Lanterns

点灯和赏灯


想必大家都知道,元宵节重要的传统习俗之一是挂灯笼、赏花灯,所以元宵节也被称为“灯节”,这就是它英文名的由来。


The Lantern Festival falls on the 15th of the first month of the lunar calendar. 

元宵节在农历正月十五。


In the past celebrating the Lantern Festival was a tradition for the imperial family. 

在过去,庆祝元宵节是皇室的传统。


Lighting and appreciating lanterns is the main activity of the festival.

点亮和赏灯是元宵节的重要活动。


When the festival comes, lanterns of various shapes and sizes are seen everywhere including households, shopping malls, parks, and streets, attracting numerous viewers. Children may hold small lanterns while walking the streets.

当元宵节来临时,各种形状和大小的灯笼在住户、商场、公园、街道随处可见,吸引了无数看客。孩子们也会提着小灯笼走上街头。


The lanterns' artwork vividly demonstrates traditional Chinese images and symbols such as fruits, flowers, birds, animals, people, and buildings.

灯笼艺术品生动地展示了中国的传统形象和象征,如水果、花、鸟、动物、人、建筑等。


In the Taiwanese dialect, the Chinese word for lantern (灯 dēng) is pronounced similarly to (丁 dīng), which means 'a new-born baby boy'. Therefore lighting lanterns there means illuminating the future and giving birth.

在台湾方言中,汉字“灯”的发音类似“丁”,意味着新生男婴。因此,在中国台湾点花灯有照亮未来和孕育新生命之意。


Lighting lanterns is a way for people to pray that they will have smooth futures and express their best wishes for their families. Women who want to be pregnant would walk under a hanging lantern praying for a child.

人们通过点灯祈求未来一帆风顺,表达对家人的美好祝愿。想要怀宝宝的妇女会在悬挂的花灯下求子。




2. Guessing Lantern Riddles

猜灯谜


Lantern owners write riddles on paper notes and pasted them upon the colorful lanterns. People crowd round to guess the riddles. Guessing (solving) lantern riddles, starting in the Song Dynasty (960–1279), is one of the most important and popular activities of the Lantern Festival.

花灯主人会将谜语写在纸上,并贴在五颜六色的花灯上。人们聚集在花灯周围猜谜。猜灯谜这项传统始于宋代(960–1279),是元宵节最重要且最受欢迎的活动之一。


If someone thinks they have the right answer, they can pull the riddle off and go to the lantern owner to check their answer. If the answer is right, there is usually a small gift as a prize.

如果有人觉得自己猜中了,就可以把谜面揭下来,向花灯主人求证。答对了的话,通常会得到一个小礼物作为奖励。


As riddle guessing is interesting and informative, it has become popular among all social strata.

猜灯谜由于寓教于乐而受到各个社会阶层的喜爱。



3. Lion Dances

舞狮


The lion dance is one of the most outstanding traditional folk dances in China. It can be dated back to the Three Kingdoms Period (220–280).

舞狮是中国最广为流传的传统民间舞蹈之一。这一习俗起源于三国时期(220-280)。


Ancient people regarded the lion as a symbol of bravery and strength, and thought that it could drive away evil and protect people and their livestock. Therefore, lion dances are performed at important events, especially the Lantern Festival, to ward off evil and pray for good fortune and safety.

古人认为狮子象征着勇敢和力量,认为它能驱鬼、保平安。因此,人们常常在重大场合进行舞狮表演,特别是在元宵节,以驱邪避鬼、祈求好运平安。


The lion dance requires two highly-trained performers in a lion suit. One acts as the head and forelegs, and the other the back and rear legs. Under the guidance of a choreographer, the "lion" dances to the beat of a drum, gong, and cymbals. Sometimes they jump, roll, and do difficult acts such as walking on stilts.

舞狮需要两名训练有素的表演者装扮成狮子的样子。一人扮演狮子的头和前腿,一人扮演狮子的后身和后腿。在引狮郎的指引下,“狮子”跟随鼓、锣、镲的节奏舞动。他们或跳或滚,还会做踩高跷等高难度动作。


In one lion dance, the "lion" moves from place to place looking for some green vegetables, in which red envelopes with money inside are hidden. The acting is very amusing and spectators enjoy it very much.

在舞狮表演中,“狮子”到处寻找绿色蔬菜,里面藏着带钱的红包。表演非常有趣,观众很喜欢。


Nowadays, the lion dance has spread to many other countries with overseas Chinese, and it is quite popular in countries like Malaysia and Singapore. In many Chinese communities of Europe and America, Chinese people use lion dances or dragon dances to celebrate every Spring Festival and other important events.

如今,舞狮已经传到了很多有海外华人的国家,在马来西亚、新加坡等国家也很流行。在欧洲和美国的许多华人社区,中国人通过舞狮或舞龙来庆祝春节及其他重要节日。



4. Eating Tangyuan (Yuanxiao)

吃汤圆(元宵)


元宵节的美食当然少不了汤圆。


因为汤圆是中国的一种传统美食,所以我们可以直接用中文音译tangyuan来表示。


除此之外,汤圆还可以翻译成sweet dumplings。


Tangyuan in Chinese has a similar pronunciation with" tuanyuan", meaning reunion. 

汤圆在中国和“团圆”这个词的发音相似,代表着团团圆圆。


Eating tangyuan (Yuanxiao) is an important custom of the Lantern Festival.

吃汤圆(元宵)是元宵节的重要传统。


These ball-shaped dumplings are made of glutinous rice flour and are stuffed with different fillings such as white sugar, brown sugar, sesame seeds, peanuts, walnuts, rose petals, bean paste, and jujube paste or a combination of ingredients. They are usually sweet.

这些球形饺子由糯米粉做成,里面塞上白糖、红糖、芝麻、花生、核桃、玫瑰花、绿豆泥、枣泥等馅,或是各种馅掺杂在一块。元宵通常是甜的。


Yuanxiao can be boiled, fried, or steamed, and are customarily served in fermented rice soup, called tianjiu (甜酒 tián jiǔ /tyen-jyoh/ 'sweet liquor').

元宵可以水煮、油炸或清蒸,通常会伴上酒酿(也叫甜酒)作汤。


As tangyuan is pronounced similarly to tuanyuan (团圆 /twan-ywen/ 'group round'), which means the whole family gathering together happily, Chinese people believe that the round shape of the balls and their bowls symbolize wholeness and togetherness.

由于汤圆和团圆谐音,所以汤圆也意味着阖家欢聚,中国人认为这种食物和碗的圆形象征着完整和团圆。


Therefore, eating tangyuan on the Lantern Festival is a way for Chinese people to express their best wishes for their family and their future lives.

所以,在元宵节吃汤圆/元宵是中国人表达对家庭和未来生活美好祝愿的一种方式。


It is believed that the custom of eating tangyuan originated during the Song Dynasty, and became popular during the Ming (1368–1644)and Qing (1644–1911) periods.

吃汤圆/元宵这一习俗起源于宋代,流行于明代(1368–1644)和清代(1644–1911)。


关于元宵节的小知识大家都get了吗?最后,Yee君祝大家元宵节快乐~


来源:China Highlights、沪江英语公众号

编译:Yee君


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