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来源:网络转载 发布时间:2017-08-28 16:03:00 查看次数:


中国七夕节Chinese Valentine's Day.

Raise your head on August 4 and gaze at the stars, you will find something romantic going on in the sky.

VALENTINE'S Day in China, the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, falls on August 4 this year.

That is, on Monday evening, Niu Lang and Zhi Nu will meet on a bridge of magpies(鹊桥) across the Milky Way(银河). Chinese grannies will remind children that they would not be able to see any magpies on that evening because all the magpies have left to form a bridge in the heavens with their wings.

Romantic legend

The legend has been handed down for nearly 2 millennia. The story has been recorded as far back as the Jin Dynasty 256-420 AD. Poets composed hundreds of verses on the love story and many types of Chinese opera tell the story.

The Chinese people believe that the star Vega(织女星), east of the Milky Way, is Zhi Nu and, at the constellation of Aquila(天鹰座), on the western side of the Milky Way, Niu Lang waits for his wife.

Zhi Nu was said to be the youngest of seven daughters of the Queen of Heaven. With her sisters, she worked hard to weave beautiful clouds in the sky, while Niu Lang was a poor orphan cowherd, driven out of his home by his elder brother and his cruel wife.

Niu Lang lamented over his lonely and poor life with an old cow, his only friend and companion. The magical cow kindly told him of a way to find a beautiful and nice woman as his life companion.

Under the direction of the cow, Niu Lang went to the riverside on an evening, where the seven fairies slipped out of their heavenly palace to bathe.

He took one of the beautiful silk dresses the fairies had left on the bank. When the fairies left the water, the youngest couldn't find her clothes and had to see her sisters fly back to heaven without her.

Then Niu Lang came out with the dress and asked the youngest fairy, Zhi Nu, to stay with him.

Several years passed on Earth, which were only a few days in heaven. Niu Lang and Zhi Nu lived happily together and had two children before the Queen of Heaven discovered Zhi Nu's absence.

She was so annoyed she had Zhi Nu brought back to heaven. Seeing his beloved wife flying in the sky, Niu Lang was terrified. He caught sight of the cowhide hanging on a wall. The magical cow had told him before dying of old age: "Keep the cowhide(牛皮) for emergency use."

Putting the cowhide on, he went after his wife with his two children.

With the help of the cowhide, Niu Lang was able to follow Zhi Nu into heaven. He was about to reach his wife when the Queen showed up and pulled off her hairpin to draw a line between the two. The line became the Silver River in heaven, or the Milky Way.

Zhi Nu went back to the heavenly workshop, going on weaving the clouds. But she was so sad, and missed her husband across the Silver River so much that the clouds she weaved seemed sad. Finally, the Queen showed a little mercy, allowing the couple to meet once every year on the Silver River.

Well-known poem

One of the most famous poems about the legend was written by Qin Guan of in the Song Dynasty 960-1279.

Fairy Of The Magpie Bridge

Among the beautiful clouds,

Over the heavenly river,

Crosses the weaving maiden.

A night of rendezvous,

Across the autumn sky.

Surpasses joy on earth.

Moments of tender love and dream,

So sad to leave the magpie bridge.

Eternal love between us two,

Shall withstand the time apart.

Translated by Kylie Hsu













Compared with love stories in Western legends, the story of Niu Lang and Zhi Nu seems not as intense or passionate. Love doesn't kill or break up the barrier between them. They just wait patiently on the riverbank, believing that their love can withstand their time apart.

It is faith and emotional liaison instead of physical attraction and desire that is emphasized in the story as well as in many other Chinese folktales(民间故事) about love.

In only a few Chinese folk love stories can be found a description of the physical appearances of the hero and heroine.

In the "Butterfly Lovers", the heroine, dressed as a boy to attend school, falls in love with a classmate. After they have lived together as classmates for years, the hero did not have the slightest clue that his best friend is actually a girl!

Chinese ceremonies

The seventh day of the seventh lunar month is the only Chinese festival devoted to love in the Lunar calendar.

Unlike St. Valentine's Day in Western countries there is not so much emphasis on giving chocolates, flowers and kisses. Instead, Chinese girls prepare fruits, melons and incense(熏香) as offerings to Zhi Nu, the weaving maiden, praying to acquire high skills in needlecraft(裁缝), as well as hoping to find satisfactory husbands.

In the evening, people sit outdoors to observe the stars. Chinese grannies would say that, if you stand under a grapevine, you can probably overhear what Zhi Nu and Niu Lang are talking about.

There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries.

关于情人节的起源有许多种说法。有关人士认为情人节是一个名叫桑特 瓦伦丁的人士发起的。他是罗马人,因为拒绝放弃基督教而于公元前269214日惨遭杀害,这一天也正好是全城盛行彩票抽奖的日子。

Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine". Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine.

而另外一种说法更具有传奇色彩,相传桑特 瓦伦丁曾留下一本日记给了狱卒的女儿,署名为你的情人,据说这名狱卒的女儿就是桑特 瓦伦丁的情人。还有其它的说法也颇为有趣。比如说有人认为在克劳迪亚斯君王统治时期,桑特 瓦仑丁曾经是一名神父,因为公然挑战克劳迪亚斯君王的权威身陷囹圄。所以公元前496年罗马教皇格莱西亚斯特意将214日作为一个特别的日子以纪念桑特 瓦伦丁。

Gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. The date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers. There was often a social gathering or a ball.

此后214日就成为了一个具有特殊意义的日子。在这天人们向自己心仪的人传递信息以示爱意。而理所当然的桑特 瓦仑丁也就成为了为恋爱中的男女们牵线搭桥的人。在214日这天人们会特意做诗或者用一些小礼物送给自己心爱的人。而且人们还会组织各种各样的聚会来庆祝这个特殊的节日。

In the United States, Miss Esther Howland is given credit for sending the first valentine cards. Commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800's and now the date is very commercialised. The town of Loveland, Colorado, does a large post office business around February 14. The spirit of good continues as valentines are sent out with sentimental verses and children exchange valentine cards at school.

艾瑟 霍兰德小姐是美国第一位因为发送情人节卡片而受到荣誉奖励的人。早在19世纪初情人节就已处露商业化的端倪。而如今情人节已经完全被商业化了。 比如每当每年214日来临的时候,一些城镇如罗夫兰、克罗拉多等,这里的人们都要派送大量的为情人节特备的卡片。 而在这天人们往往吟歌做诗并且把这些写入卡片中,送给自己喜欢的人以表达自己的爱意。而在学校里孩子门也喜欢互增贺卡来度过这个特殊的节日。久而久之就形成了一种习俗并且延续至今天.

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