美国圣诞节历史 分享到
The History of Christmas in America 2014-12-25252189




Hello everyone!Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!In the first half of the 19th century, Christmas was a very different kind of holiday than it is today. People did not have a set way of celebrating. Christmas was not even an official holiday yet.
So, 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.
But, it was during the early 1800s that Americans began to reinvent the holiday. They started combining ancient Christmas traditions with modern American influences. Shirley Griffith and Steve Ember tell the story.
不过,在十九世纪初美国人开始重塑这个节日。他们将古老的基督教传统融入现代美国生活中。Shirley Griffith 和 Steve Ember为我们讲述故事。
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,美国著名作家Washington Irving撰写了五篇系列散文,发表在一本名为《Geoffrey Crayon绅士的笔记》的书上。
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.
Irving赞扬其回归传统。他倾向于社会各阶层聚在一起来享受喜庆祥和的节日。Washington Irving似乎表达了对现代美国社会缺乏统一圣诞节传统的忧虑。
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写了一本书名为《圣诞节在美国的历史》。它介绍了十九世纪前半页美国人怎样开始逐渐将圣诞节作为统一的国家节日。她描述了圣诞节对不同文化和宗教背景下美国人的不同意义。许多移民带来了自己国家的圣诞节传统。
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.
By mid-century, Christian groups began to ignore their religious differences over the meaning of Christmas and honored the day in special ways.
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.
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.
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.
随着圣诞节越来越受欢迎,很多州将其规定为本州节日。1837年路易斯安那州作为第一个州颁布了这一规定。到1860年为止,有14个州也采取了同样举措。到了1870年Ulysses Grant总统将其规定为联邦节日。
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 1849, 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.”
美国人知道古老的圣诞歌曲来源于英格兰和欧洲其他地区。不过很多新的美国圣诞歌曲开始变得流行。例如在1849年,一名马塞诸塞州宗教领袖作词《It Came Upon a Midnight Clear》。七年后《Jingle Bells》这首歌问世。并且一年后,宾夕法尼亚州威廉斯波特的一名宗教领袖写了歌曲《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.
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.
这个形象来源于圣诞老人的故事,他被认为是生活在三世纪的基督教神圣人物。圣诞老人被认为是孩子们的保护者。他是圣诞节的英雄人物,不同文化中给他起了不同名字。包括“Sinterklaas,Kris Kringle,Father Christmas”。但是对大部分美国人来讲,最著名的名字就是Santa Claus。
In the 19th century, many Dutch immigrants living in the United States celebrated the feast of Saint Nicholas on December 6. 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?
1809年,Washington Irving出版了《纽约历史》这本书。他将圣诞老人列为纽约民众的守护神。他描述圣诞老人的形象是戴着低檐帽,穿着宽松的裤子,抽着烟袋。这种描述听起来是不是很熟悉?