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经典翻译:四大节典之--清明 Qingming

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清明既是中国的二十四节气之一,又是祭祖扫墓的传统节日,在每年的公历4月4日至6日的某一天。汉族和一些少数民族大多是在清明节扫墓。
Qingming is one of the twenty-four solar terms and also a traditional festival for sweeping tombs and offering sacrifice to ancestors. It is a day between April 4th and 6th in the Gregorian calendar. The Han people and some minority groups do tomb sweeping in the festival.

唐代以前,清明只是一个节气,用以记录时间和指导农业生产。到了唐代,清明成为了节日,并且和节期紧邻的寒食节融合在一起,形成了寒食清明的寒食禁火、扫墓、插柳、踏青郊游等风俗。
Before Tang dynasty, Qingming was only one of the solar terms, used to clock time and guide the agriculture production. Then it became a festival in Tang dynasty. As the day is very close to the day of Hanshi Festival, they became one festival and gradually formed the customs of forbidding fire, sweeping tomb, interposing willow bough and spring outing.

寒食节源于汉代,魏晋南北朝时期成为全国性节日,节期在清明前两天,或冬至后的一百零五日。寒食,就是禁止以火烹调食物和对食物加温,实行冷食。传说寒食是纪念春秋时晋国人介子推,晋公子重耳带着他与其他人等一起流亡国外,重耳饥饿乏食,介子推就把自己大腿上的肉割下来给他吃。后来重耳回国做了国君,就是晋文公。晋文公给当年的随行部下论功行赏时,唯独忘了介子推。介子推就归隐于山,不肯复出。晋文公以火焚山,想把介子推逼迫出来,不料他抱着一棵树,被火烧死了。这就是“割股燔山”的故事。晋人于是寒食禁火哀悼介子推。
Hanshi Festival can be dated back to Han dynasty. In Wei, Jin and Southern & Northern dynasties it became a national holiday. The festival was two days before Qingming Festival, or 10 5 days after the Winter Solstice Day. Hanshi means to forbid cooking or heating food with fire and to eat cold food. It is said that the festival was in memory of Jie Zitui, a person from the state of Jin in the Spring and Autumn period. Chong’er, the son of the Duke of Jin state, went into exile to other states with his followers. When he was hungry without any food available, Jie Zitui, one of his followers, cut flesh from his leg to feed Chong’er. However, later when Chong’er got back to his state and became Duke Wen of Jin state, he awarded all his followers except Jie Zitui. Being disappointed, Jie Zitui retreated to a mountain and refused to be an official. But Duke Wen of Jin state ordered to fire the mountain to force Jie Zitui to leave the mountain. However, Jie held a tree and was burned to death, hence the story“Cut flesh in leg and get burned in mountain”left to us. And later people in Jin state started the custom of eating cold food and forbidding fire on the day to mourn for Jie Zitui.

唐代开始,寒食节有郊游并祭墓的习俗,唐玄宗时,寒食节成了国家的法定祭扫日,中唐以后和宋代,朝廷多在寒食和清明连着放假七天,清明也有了扫墓踏青的习俗。元明之后,寒食节逐渐淡出人们的记忆,清明节成为春天的重要节日。清末,随着各种娱乐游艺逐渐退出,清明节成为单纯的扫墓节。
Since Tang dynasty, there were customs of spring outing and offering sacrifice in front of the tombs in Hanshi Festival. In Emperor Xuanzong’s reign, Hanshi Festival became a legal holiday for people to sweep tombs and offer sacrifice to ancestors. After mid-Tang and Song dynasties, the court would have 7 days off for Hanshi and Qingming festivals. People also had outing and tomb-sweeping customs in Qingming. After Yuan and Ming dynasties, Hanshi Festival gradually faded from people’s memory and Qingming Festival became a very important festival in spring. At the end of Qing dynasty, other entertainment activities were stopped in the festival and Qingming became a pure Tomb-sweeping Day.


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