19 世纪美国的圣诞节 分享到
Christmas in 19th Century America 2013-12-25235005

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From VOA Learning English, welcome to The Making of a Nation, our weekly program of American history for people learning American English.I’m Steve Ember. Today Shirley Griffith and I present a special program on Christmas traditions in the United States during the first half of the 19th century.
这里是美国之音慢速英语建国史话栏目,每周我们讲述美国历史供大家学习英语。我是Steve Ember。今天我和Shirley Griffith在这个特别节目中为大家介绍19世纪上半叶美国人的圣诞节传统。
During this period, Christmas was a very different kind of holiday than it is today.There was no set way of celebrating the day, which was not yet an official holiday.Communities around the country honored the day in different ways.Some observed Christmas as an important Christian religious day honoring the birth of Jesus.Others celebrated the day with parties, music, drinking and eating.And, some communities did not celebrate the day at all.
在那个时候,圣诞节相对今天来说是一个非常不同的节日。庆祝圣诞节并没有固定的方式,且在当时它还不是官方节日。全国各地的人们以不同的方式庆祝这一天。一些人将圣诞节看做一个纪念耶稣诞生的重要基督教节日。其他人在这天通过欣赏音乐,饮酒和吃大餐来庆祝。一些地方并没有进行庆祝活动。
But, it was during this period that Americans began to reinvent the holiday by combining ancient Christmas traditions from different cultures with modern American influences.You can think about the historical people we have been talking about, Andrew Jackson, Martin van Buren and others, and the ways they too might have celebrated Christmas.
但是在这一段时间,美国人开始将来自不同文化的古老圣诞传统与现代美国的影响相结合,以重塑这一节日。你可以思考我们之前谈到的Andrew Jackson和Martin van Buren等其他历史人物,他们也有庆祝圣诞节的方式。
In 1819, the popular American writer Washington Irving wrote a series of five essays published in a book called “The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.”
1819年,受欢迎的美国作家Washington Irving撰写了五篇一系列的文章发表在一本名为《见闻札记》的书籍中。
The essays describe a wealthy British landowner who invites his farm workers into his home to celebrate Christmas.The landowner recreates a traditional Christmas as it would have been celebrated in the distant past.Irving praised this looking back to ancient traditions.He liked the idea of different levels of society coming together to enjoy a festive and peaceful holiday.Washington Irving seemed to express concern about the lack of such unifying Christmas traditions in modern America.
该书描述了一个富有的英国地主邀请他的农场工人到他家中庆祝圣诞节。地主再现了传统的圣诞节,因为在很久以前才庆祝这个节日。Irving称赞重拾古老传统的做法。他喜欢来自社会不同阶层的人们共同享受这一喜庆,祥和的节日。Washington Irving表达了对当今美国这种缺失传统的圣诞节的关注。
Penne Restad wrote a book “Christmas in America: A History.”It shows how Americans began to slowly shape Christmas into a unifying national holiday during the first half of the 19th century.She describes how Christmas had different meanings for Americans who came from different cultural and religious backgrounds.Many immigrants brought Christmas traditions from their own countries.
Penne Restad 写了一本名为《美国圣诞节的历史》的书。这本书它讲述了19世纪上半叶,美国人如何将圣诞节慢慢塑造成为一个统一的全国性的节日。她讲述了圣诞节对于来自不同文化和宗教背景的美国人的不同意义。很多移民带来了他们祖国的圣诞节传统。
Religion played a big role in how an American might celebrate the holiday.Calvinist Christians banned the celebration of Christmas.But groups such as Episcopalians and Moravians honored the day with religious services and seasonal decorations.
宗教对美国人如何庆祝节日这一方面影响重大。加尔文主义基督徒禁止圣诞节的庆祝活动。但如圣公会和摩拉维亚这样的组织通过宗教仪式和节日装饰来纪念这一天。
By mid-century, Christian groups began to ignore their religious differences over the meaning of Christmas and honored the day in special ways.
到本世纪中叶,基督教团体开始忽略他们对于圣诞节意义和纪念圣诞的特殊方式的宗教差异。
Christmas became an important time for families to celebrate at home.More and more Christian Americans also began to follow the European traditions of Christmas trees and giving gifts.Christians believed that the tree represented Jesus and was also a sign of new beginnings.German immigrants brought their tradition of putting lights, sweets and toys on the branches of evergreen trees placed in their homes.
圣诞节成为家人在家中庆祝节日的一个重要时刻。越来越多信仰基督教的美国人也开始效仿欧洲传统摆放圣诞树和送礼物。基督徒认为,树木代表耶稣,也是新开始的标志。德国移民也带来了用灯,糖果和玩具装饰家中的圣诞树的传统。
This tradition of setting up a Christmas tree soon spread to many American homes.So did the practice of giving people presents.As these traditions increased in popularity, the modern trade and business linked to Christmas also grew.
摆放圣诞树这一传统很快蔓延到许多美国家庭。赠送礼物的方式也同样深入人心。由于这些传统的普及,现代商贸也因圣诞节而水涨船高。
As Christmas became more popular, some states declared the day a state holiday.Louisiana was the first state to make the move in 1837.By 1860, 14 other states had followed.It was not until 1870 that President Ulysses Grant made Christmas a federal holiday.
随着圣诞节越来越流行,一些州将其设定为法定假日。路易斯安那州是于1837年首个出台这项制度的州。到1860年,其他14个州相继出台这项制度。但直到1870年Ulysses Grant总统才将圣诞节定为联邦假日。
Americans already knew old Christmas songs that came from England and other areas of Europe.But many new American Christmas songs started to become popular.For example, in eighteen forty-nine, a religious leader from Massachusetts wrote the words to “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.”The song “Jingle Bells” appeared seven years later.And, a year later, a religious leader in Williamsport, Pennsylvania wrote the song “We Three Kings of Orient Are.”
美国人听过很多来自英国和欧洲其他地区的古老圣诞歌曲。但是,许多新的美国圣诞歌曲逐渐流行起来。例如,1849年,来自马萨诸塞州的宗教领袖写了一句话“那是一个明朗的午夜”。歌曲《铃儿响叮当》已经诞生了七十年。一年后,来自宾夕法尼亚州威廉波特的一个宗教领袖创作了一首歌《We Three Kings of Orient Are》。
And of course, no discussion of Christmas would be complete without talking about of one of the holiday’s most famous representations, Santa Claus.
当然,圣诞节如果没有讨论最有名的圣诞老人那将是不完整的。
This character is based on the story of Saint Nicholas, a Christian holy person believed to have lived in the third century.Saint Nicholas became known as a protector of children.In his role as a Christmas hero, different cultures have given him different names.These include Sinterklaas, Kris Kringle and Father Christmas.But for most Americans his most popular name would become Santa Claus.
这个角色基于Saint Nicholas,他是一位被认为活在三世纪的基督教圣人。Saint Nicholas被称为儿童的保护者。他作为一名圣诞英雄,不同的文化赋予了他不同的名字。这些名字包括Sinterklaas,Kris Kringle和圣诞老人。但大多数美国人对其最常用的称呼是圣诞老人。
In the 19th century, many Dutch immigrants living in the United States celebrated the feast of Saint Nicholas on December sixth.Saint Nicholas was especially important to New Yorkers because of their history as a Dutch colony.In 1809, Washington Irving published his “History of New York.”It lists Saint Nicholas as the patron saint of New Yorkers.He describes the saint wearing a low hat, large pants, and smoking a pipe.Does this description sound familiar?
19世纪,许多生活在美国的荷兰移民在12月6日敬奉Saint Nicholas。Saint Nicholas对纽约人来说是尤其重要的,因为他是荷兰殖民地的历史。1809年,Washington Irving出版了《纽约的历史》一书。其指出Saint Nicholas为纽约人的守护神。他形容这位圣人戴着很低的帽子,穿着宽大的裤子,抽着烟斗。这是否听起来很熟悉?
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house...
在圣诞节前一天晚上,他进入了所有人的家中......
In 1822, an American professor named Clement Clarke Moore wrote a poem that redefined the image of Saint Nicholas.It was called “Account of a Visit from Saint Nicholas.”He did not expect it to be published.He wrote it as a Christmas present for his young children.In recent years, experts have questioned whether Moore actually wrote the poem.
1822年,一个名为Clement Clarke Moore的美国教授写了一首诗重新定义Saint Nicholas的形象。这首诗是《圣尼古拉来访》。他没想到它会公之于众。他创作这首诗作为送给孩子们的圣诞礼物。近年来,专家质疑Moore是否真的写了这首诗。
Some believe it was written by Henry Livingston, a map maker in New York who wrote and published funny poems in his spare time.
有些人认为是Henry Livingston创作了这首诗,他是纽约的地图制造商,在业余时间他发表有趣的诗。
But whoever wrote this classic poem, it has since become a favorite around the world.This poem combines the traditions of Santa Claus, seasonal decorations and gift-giving that have come to define Christmas in America.We leave you with Clement Clarke Moore’s poem, popularly known as “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
但是,不管是谁写了这首经典的诗,它已深受全世界的喜爱。这首诗结合圣诞老人,节日装饰和送礼物的传统,定义了美国圣诞节。我们带给大家Clement Clarke Moore的诗歌《圣诞前夜》。
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
在圣诞节前夜,整间屋里没有一点动静,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
一切生灵,包括老鼠,也不见踪影。
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
长袜已被小心地挂到烟囱旁边,
In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.
等待着圣诞老人的光临。
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
孩子们已经舒适地安顿在床上,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
睡梦中满脑子晃动着好吃的糖李子。
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
妈妈要解下围巾,我还没脱下帽子,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
我们刚准备放下心事,要睡个冬天的好觉。
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
这时,外面的草地上传来得得的蹄响,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
我一骨碌从床上蹦下来想看个究竟。
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
一下子我就跳到窗前,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
拨开百页窗,推开整扇窗子。
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
只见月光洒在新落下的雪花的怀里,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
月下的万物如披上正午眩目的日光。
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
这时出现了使我惊讶不已的景象,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
那是一驾微小的雪橇和八匹小小的驯鹿。
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
驾橇的是一位老者,活泼而灵动,
I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick.
我马上知道这一定是圣诞老人。
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
他的鹿队疾驰而来,比鹰还快,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
他吹着口哨,吆喝着,不时呼唤着鹿儿的名字。
"Now Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
"哦,飞毛腿!舞蹈家!犟种和小母狐!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen!
前进,彗星!前进,小爱神!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
前进,雷雷和电闪!冲上门廊上方,冲向房屋的顶部!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
哦,向前!向前!一起向前冲!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
来势迅捷,像飓风来临时狂野地卷起枯叶,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
他们途遇障碍就飞升空中。
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
鹿队在屋顶上飞越,
With the sleigh full of toys, and Saint Nicholas, too.
雪橇拉满了玩具,载着圣诞老人。
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
转眼之间屋顶上传来声响,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
来自小鹿蹄儿腾跃与踢踏。
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
当我从窗口缩回脑袋转过身,
Down the chimney Saint Nicholas came with a bound.
刚好瞧见圣诞老人从烟囱上一跃而下。
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
他从头到脚都穿着皮裘,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
他的衣服沾满灶灰与烟炱。
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
他在背上挎上一包玩具,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
活像个小贩的模样,不停地开包送货。
His eyes -- how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
他的眼睛闪闪发光!他的酒窝充满欢乐!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
他的两颊红玫瑰色,他的鼻尖像一粒樱桃!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
他那滑稽的小嘴如弯弓,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
他下颌的胡子雪一样白。
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
他的牙齿紧咬着烟斗嘴,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
白烟绕着他的头部,成了飘动的环。
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
瞧他宽宽的脸庞和微凸的腹部,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
大笑起来,他那肚子摇晃得像一碗果冻。
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
体态丰满而略胖,一个快活的老精灵,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
我看到他时情不自禁地笑出声来!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
他转身向我眨眨眼摆摆头,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
表示让他发现我在暗中窥视也不必惊慌。
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
他没说一句话,只顾忙着手中活。
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
装满每一只长袜,他就急忙转身走。
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
他把手指放在鼻上做示意,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
点点头,又跳回烟囱之上!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
他跃上雪橇,向着驯鹿队打起唿哨,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
似蓟花冠毛一样,他们飘然飞驰而去。
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
在他离开之际,我听到他大声的问候:
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
"圣诞快乐,各位晚安!"
Jim Tedder read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. I’m Steve Ember, with Shirley Griffith.Join us again next week for The Making of a Nation. And happy holidays from all of us in VOA Learning English!
Jim Tedder朗诵《圣诞前夜》这首诗。我是Steve Ember,和Shirley Griffith一起为大家播报。欢迎下周再次收听建国史话栏目。美国之音全体员工祝大家节日快乐!

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