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英汉对照:中国情人节“七夕”由来(图)

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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

很久以前,有一个跟着哥嫂过活的孤儿,既聪明又勤快,可嫂嫂仍嫌弃他,天不亮就赶他上山放牛,大家都叫他牛郎。几年后,哥嫂和牛郎分了家,狼心的嫂嫂只给他一间破茅房、一头老牛。从此,牛郎白天放牛、砍柴,晚上就和老牛同睡在那间破茅房内。一天,牛郎赶牛走进了一片陌生的树林,这里山青水秀、鸟语花香。牛郎见到九个仙女驾着祥云落在河的草地上,然后脱去五彩霓裳,跳进清澈见底的河水里,牛郎盯着一个最年轻是美丽的仙女看入了神,这时老牛突然说话了:“她是天上的织女,只要拿走五彩霓裳,她就会做你的妻子。”牛郎悄悄地沿着树从,悄悄拿走了织女的五彩霓裳。天近午时,其他仙女纷纷穿起五彩霓裳,驾着祥云而去。唯独找不到五彩霓裳的织女留下了。这时,牛郎从树后走出,请求织女做他的妻子。织女见牛郎忠厚老实,勤劳健壮,便脉脉含羞地点了点头。牛郎织女喜结良缘后,男耕女织,互敬互爱。两年后,织女生下一男一女。然而天帝闻知织女下嫁人间,勃然大怒。七月初七,王母奉旨带着天兵天将捉了织女。悲痛欲绝的牛郎在老牛的帮助下,用萝筐挑着儿女追上天去。眼看追上了,王母拔下金簪一划,牛郎脚下立刻出现一条波涛汹涌的天河。肝肠寸断的织女和肩挑儿女的牛郎,一个在河东一个在河西,遥望对泣。哭声感动了喜鹊,霎时无数的喜鹊飞向天河,搭起一座鹊桥,牛郎织女终于可以在鹊桥上相会了。王母无奈,只好允许牛郎织女每年的七月初七在桥上相会一次。

当然,这只是个传说。乞巧的仪式源自古代织女桑神的原始信仰。这种信仰结合了牛郎织女每年七月七日相会的说法,成了我们今时今日的七夕七巧民间信仰。

在我国,农历七月初七,人们俗称“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。其实不仅仅是汉族,壮族、满族、朝鲜族等也有过“七夕节”的习俗。不过,随着西方“情人节”流入中土,“七夕节”逐渐又被人称为中国的“情人节”。然而她在年轻人中的影响力,却远不及每年阳历2月14日的西方“情人节”。不光如此,象这样历史悠久且文化内涵深厚、有如此美丽传说的节日,竟越来越不受社会重视,越来越受冷落,是世界变化得太快?还是节日不够现代跟不上时代?牛郎织女难道真的会被中国人遗弃吗?“七夕节”受冷落迫使我们的目光又聚焦到中国传统节日的兴衰上。农历七月初七——七夕节

民间爱情传说之一的牛郎织女的故事。

七夕节始终和牛郎织女的传说相连,这是一个很美丽,千古流传的爱情故事,是我国四大民间爱情传说之一。

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,一年秋天,嫂子逼他去放牛,给他九头牛,却让他等有了十头牛时才能回家,牛郎无奈只好赶着牛出了村。

……

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。织女还把从天上带来的天蚕分给大家,并教大家养蚕,抽丝,织出又光又亮的绸缎。

牛郎和织女结婚后,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。

后来,每到农历七月初七,相传牛郎织女鹊桥相会的日子,姑娘们就会来到花前月下,抬头仰望星空,寻找银河两边的牛郎星和织女星,希望能看到他们一年一度的相会,乞求上天能让自己能象织女那样心灵手巧,祈祷自己能有如意称心的美满婚姻,由此形成了七夕节。

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