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端午节 The Double-Fifth Festival

(2010-05-04 16:38:04)
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杂谈

分类: Chineseculture
端午节 The Double-Fifth Festival

 

端午节在农历五月初五,又称“重午“、“端阳”、“天中节”、“夏节”、“龙船节”……据说有二十多种叫法。古人有个习惯,喜欢把月和日的数字重复的这一天作为节日,除了正月初一之外,二月二、三月三、六月六、七月七、九月九,就都是节日。在这些重日节日里,端午是被人们特别看中的。

 

Falling on the fifth day of the fifth lunar monththe Double-Fifth Festivalalso known as the Duanwu Festial has more than 20 alternative Chinese names-the chongwu Festivalthe Dragon-boat festivaletc. It is a practice for the ancient Chinese to choose the same number of the day and of the month for a festival. A part from the first day of the first lunar monthwhich is the Spring festivalwe have the second day of the second lunar month as the Double-Second Festival the third day of the third lunar month as the Double-Third Festivalthe ninth day of the ninth lunar month as the Double-Ninth Festival. And they are all important Chinese festivalsamong which the Double-Fifth Festival is the most significant.

 

关于端午节的起源,历来众说纷纭,莫衷一是,学者们加以归纳,至少也有十种不同说法。这中间,影响最大的,大概是纪念屈原的说法。

 

There are various versions about the orgin of the Double-fifth Festivaland at least ten different ones are sorted out by scholarsamong which the most influential version is to honor Qu Yuan.

 

屈原是战国时代的楚国诗人,官居三闾大夫。起初,楚怀王很重用他。后来楚怀王偏信奸臣进谗,没有接受屈原联齐抗秦的主张,反倒被骗到秦国,死在异乡。楚顷襄王又不思振复,将屈原削职放逐,长期流浪在沅湘流域。后来楚国首都郢被秦兵攻破,屈原救国的愿望无法实现,在极度悲愤中,投汨罗江而死。传说屈原投江就是在农历五月初五,那天,楚国人民纷纷划船去救,在江上来回打捞他的尸体,有人还拿出粽子,丢到江中,说是让鱼虾吃了,它们就不会去咬屈大夫的尸体了。有个老医生拿了一坛雄黄酒倒进江里,说是要药晕蛟龙,别让它伤害屈大夫。后来水面上果然浮起一条蛟龙,龙须上还沾着一片屈大夫的衣襟,人们把这条恶龙拖上岸,斩头抽筋,把龙筋缠在小孩的手上、脖子上,据说毒蛇害虫也就不敢伤害小孩了。

 

It is said that Qu Yuan was a poetand a minister in the State of Chu During the Warring States Period475BC-221BC.At first he won the full confidence and respect of his sovereignKing Huai of the Chu State. But later the king was surrounded by jealous self-seekersso he ignored Qu Yuan’s claim that the State of Chu ought to unite with the state of Qi to fight against the state of Qin. As a result, King Huai was tricked into the State of Qin and died there. King Qingxiang of Chu, the eldest son of King Huai, didn’t take revenge, but dismissed Qu Yuan from office and sent him into exile as a vagrant in the Yuanxiang Valley(area around the present-day Yuanjiang River and Xiangjiang River in Human Province). Later the capital of Chu was captured by the troops from Qin. In great agony, Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Milo River with his wishes to save his beloved country unfulfilled. One legend claims that the day when Qu Yuan drowned himself in the river was the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. The local people rushed in boats to rescue or search for him. Some of them scattered Zongzi (glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves) in the river, hoping to deed fish and shrimps lest they should eat away his body. An old dacter of traditional Chinese Medicine poured the realgar wine into the river to make river dragons drunk, otherwise they would hurt Qu Yuan. Later a river dragon came out of water with pieces of Qu Yuan’s clothes. The people pulled the evil dragon onto the shore, cut its head off and took its tendon out. It is said that the dragon’s tendon could protect children from snakes or pests’ attacks when it was bound around children’s wrists or necks.

 

还有另外一个传说则说,屈原在五月初五投江之后,人们在每年的这一天都要把米装在竹筒里,投到江中祭祀他.有一次,有人梦见屈原.屈原说,多年来你们投的米都让蛟龙吃了.今年你们如果还要投的话,请在竹筒上面塞几张楝树叶子,再用五彩丝线裹粽子,就是这样演变过来的。

 

Another legend says that after Qu Yuan frowned Himself in the river on the fifth day of the fifth lunar monthpeople threw bamboo tubes with rice inside into the river on that day each year to offer sacrifices to him. One day someone had a dream that the rice thrown in the river had been eaten by river dragons. Qu Yuan told him in the dream that if they were to throw rice again this yearthe bamboo tubes should be sealed with bamboo leaves and tied with five-colored threadswhich would frighten river dragons away from the rice. Later the local people sacrificed for him in this wayfrom which ricewrapped in bamboo leaves and five-colored threadscame to be known as Zongzi.

 

不难看出,这两个传说虽然都以屈原投江为核心,但具体说法却并不态一致。传说提到了端午节的一些风俗活动内容,诸如划龙舟、裹粽子、拴五色丝线、喝雄黄酒等,把它们一概说成是为了纪念屈原,可能也有些附会。不过许多人又都认为这样的传说寄托了民众对伟大爱国主义诗人屈原的追慕和崇敬,表达了民众的美好感情,还是应该珍惜的。屈原的诗歌代表作《离骚》、《九歌》、《天问》等,一向脍炙人口,光照文坛,屈原在诗歌创作上的伟大成就流传千古,以至于有人主张称端午节为“诗人节”。从这一点上说,人们对这方面的传说格外偏爱,也是在情理之中的。

 

It is clear that both legends are based on Qu Yuan’s drowning in the river, but they are somewhat diverse in specific descripttions. The legends involved the activities in the Double-Fifth Festival such as dragon-boat racing, Zongzi wrapping, five-colored-thread binding, and realgar-wine drinking. But it is farfetched that everything was exclusively done for commemorating Qu Yuan. However, many people believe that these legends express people’s respect and reverence for Qu Yuan, the great patriotic poet. His masterpieces are classics in Chinese literature like Lisao, Jiuge and Tianwen. His achievements in Poetic writing are so great that it is claimed that the Double-fifth Festival should be called the Poets’ Festival. So it is reasonable that people have preference for the legends.

 

然而,讨论节日的起源毕竟是一种科学,我们也不能凭感情用事.学者们在这方面的讨论一向十分热闹,归纳起来,大致有以下几种说法,是可以供我们参考的.一说,这是古代江南持龙图腾崇拜民族的祭祖活动纪念日;二说,它起源于三代的兰浴,周代就有朱索桃印饰门、艾人悬户,系五彩缕、持赤灵符等风俗,这些古俗中的巫术行为,都是为了禳灾避邪,而今天端午节的一些做法,正是周代古俗的遗存;三说,春秋战国时,越王勾践在此日操练水军,相沿成俗;四说,纪念介子推;五说,纪念屈原;六说,纪念伍子胥;七说,纪念曹蛾;八说,祭“地腊”,九说,古人将五月初五视作“恶日”,忌讳在此日生子,因此便有了种种禳灾避邪的巫术行为;十说,“夏至”说,说如今端午节吃粽子、竞渡等活动内容,在南北朝的典籍里明明是记录为夏至日的事情,后来不知为什么就移到端午日去了。

 

Howeverthe discussion of the origin of a festival should be scientific rather than emotional. There have been heated discussions among scholarswhich can be summed up as folloes. One theory is that the Double-Fifth Festival is the day on which the ethnic groups that worship dragon as a totem sffered sacrifices to their ancestors. Another theory originated from the fragrant thotoughwort bath in the three dynasties of Xia2070BC-1600BC),Shang1600BC-1046BCand Zhou 1046BC-221BC. In the Zhou Dynastypeople had the custom of decorating the doors with five-colored threads and buttons made of peach woodhanging wormwoodbinding the five-colored threadsand holding the magic figures to bring in good fortunehoping to eliminate disasters and ward off evil spirits. Traces of the Zhou Dynasty’s custom are easily found in today’s celebrations. The third theory is that the Double-Fifth Festival is the day on which Gou Jian, the king of the State of Yue, drilled his marine troops during the Warring States Period (475BC-221BC), which developed into the present custom. The fourth theory is about the commemoration of Jie Zitui. The fifth is about the commemoration of Qu Yuan. The sixth is about the commemoration of Wu Zixu. The seventh is about Cao Eh. The eighth is about the sacrifice for “Dila”. The ninth is that the ancient Chinese considered the fifth day of the fifth lunar month as an evil day, and it was a taboo to deliver a baby on that day, which evolved into the sorcery of eliminating disasters and warding off evil spirits. The tenth is about the Summer Solstice. The customs of eating Zongzi, dragon-boat racing, etc. were all activities for the Summer Solstice recorded in the classic books in the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420BC-581AD). But no one knows why they were adopted as the activities of the Double-Fifth Festival.

 

这样的讨论自然还可继续下去,我们不可能一下子就做出十分精确的结论.不过至少我们已经可以有这样一种印象:端午节风俗的形成,有一个历史积淀的过程,并非一蹴而就.一般认为,端午节正值季节转换,虫毒蠢动,疫病滋生,我们的祖先试图用种种巫术行为禳解它,辟邪逐疫,以祈求人们在这一年里能够平安。这大概是后世端午节许多风俗习惯的原始意义吧。

 

Similar discussions are naturally continuousso we cannot come to a definite conclusion at once. But we have at least the impression that the formation of the Double-Fifth Festival’s customs is a historic accumulation, not accomplished overnight. It is generally believed that the Double-Fifth Festival is high time for the change of the seasons, in whichinsects are crawing and diseases are spreading rampantly. So our ancestors attempted to drive away evils and dispel diseases, pleading to be safe and sound in the coming year, which is the original intention of the later custom of the Double-Fifth Festival.

 

端午节的风俗活动,花样特别多,在不同的时空里,又会有所嬗变,大致归纳起来,主要有龙舟竞渡、吃粽子、插艾蒿、喝雄黄酒、拴五色丝线、佩戴香袋、悬挂钟馗像等。

 

The Double-Fifth Festival has a great variety of activitieswhich have evolved through different times and in different placesmainly involving dragon-boat racingeating Zongzihanging wormwooddrinking realgar winebinding five-colored threadwearing a scent baghanging a portrait of Zhong Kuietc.

 

龙舟竞渡,历来是深受各地民众喜爱的节日活动。据闻一多考证,四千五百多年前的江南吴越水乡,就已经有了这种风俗。古代文献中所记叙的龙舟竞渡,往往还伴随着祭祀与巫术。时至今日,我们所见到的就已经是一项完全有益于身心健康的文娱体育活动了。从中传达出来的万众一心、奋斗拼搏的精神和昂扬向上的朝气,感染着每一个人,激励着每一个人。正因为如此,世界上凡是华人聚居的地方,往往便会有龙舟竞渡的精彩表演。1980年起,赛龙舟已经被列入我国的体育比赛项目,每年都要举行“屈原杯”龙舟赛。端午风俗的魅力,由此可见一斑。

 

The Dragon-boat race is always a popular festival event in all parts of China. According to Wen Yiduo’s survey, it came into existence in the Wu Yue water-bound towns in the south of China more than 4500 years ago. The descripttion of a dragon-boat race in ancient literature was associated with sacrifice and witchcraft. Up till now, what we can see is a complete recreational event beneficial to the health of the body and the mind. The spirit of being united as one and exerting all one’s strength and the enthusiasm with high morale affects and inspires everyone. It is due to this that where there are Chinese, there are wonderful performances of dragon-boat races. From the 1980s on, the dragon-boat race is on the list of China’s sports competition events. Qu Yuan Cup Dragon-Boat Race is held every year to present its charm.

 

粽子,是端午节的节令食品。不过如今它已不仅限于在端午节食用,它甚至漂洋过海到了世界上的许多国家,成为有着浓郁乡土情趣的中餐美食。据说,早在春秋时代,便已有筒粽和角黍,前者是把米放在竹筒里密封烤熟,后者是用茭白叶包黍米成牛角状煮熟。以后历代演变,便有了许许多多的样式。据说清代乾隆帝吃了“九子粽”,赞不绝口,还为它赋过诗呢。把九只大小不一样的粽子串在一起,用九种颜色的丝线扎成,就成了馈赠亲友的一份好礼。旧时民间往往用来象征早生贵子、多子多福。除此之外,裹粽子用的米和里边的馅心,各地也往往不尽相同,北京的小枣粽、山东的黄米粽、上海的猪油夹沙粽、嘉兴的鲜肉粽、陕西的蜂蜜凉粽、四川的椒盐粽……都是名声在外,值得一尝的。

 

Zongzi is the festival dood traditionally sered during the Double-Fifth Festival. Zongzi is not only food for the Double-Fifth Festlval in China, but also has traveled over the seas and oceans to many countries in the world and becomes a delicious Chinese food with a strong Chinese Flavor. It is said that as early as the Spring and Autumn Period(770BC-476BC),Tongzong and Jiaoshu came into existence. The former was made of rice in the bamboo tubes and air-tightly baked while the latter was made of the broomcorn millet covered with wild rice leaves in cow-horn shapes and steamed. With the evolution over many dynasties, Zongzi is seen in various shapes with a variety of fillings. After eating it, Emperpor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty(1644AD-1911AD) spoke highly of the Jiuzi Zong and even wrote a poem about it. A cluster of nine Zongzi of different sizes on a string tied with nine-color threads was the right gift for ralatives and friends, symbolizing that the earlier to have a son the better it was for a couple’s life, and the more children the couple would have, the happier the couple would be. Besides, its rice and fillings are different in different places, for example, Beijing’s Zongzi with fillings of little dates, Shangdong’s with fillings of yellow rice, Shanghai’s with fillings of lard and pasty red bean, Jiaxing’s with fillings of fresh meat, Shanxi’s cold Zongzi with fillings of haney and Sichuan’s with fillings of pepper-salt. They are all well-known and tasty.

 

旧时的端午节,家家户户都会在 门口挂艾草,插菖蒲。俗语说:“蒲剑斩千妖,艾旗招百福。”有的地方还会在艾草下面挂一个大蒜头。还有的地方,在艾草、菖蒲、大蒜之外,再加榴花、龙船花,俗称“天中五端”。总之,当年这样做,都是有些巫术意味的,人们以为这些玩意儿可以祛鬼祛邪。不过也有人指出,其实艾和菖蒲一类植物中大多含有芳香油,可以杀虫防病。端午时节,天气转热,容易引发多种疾病,家家户户挂艾草,插菖蒲,还是有些实际功用的。有的人家在这一天还要用苍术、白芷来烟熏内室,它的效用也就更加显而易见了。

 

Families hung wormwood and calamus on the door for the traditional Double-Fifth Festival in ancient times. There is an old saying that calamus could chop monsters like a sword and wormwood could bring about blessings like a flag. Under the wormwood hangs a head of garlic in some places. Besides wormwood hangs ahead of garlic, there are pomegranate flowers and Morningstar lilies. They are known as the five plants in the world. In short,  all the activities in the past involved witchcraft to dispel ghosts and evils. However, it has been pointed out that wormwood and calamus contain volatile oil, which can be used to kill insects and avoied diseases. Around the Double-Fifth Festival, with the weather turning warmer, people are more likely to be infested with diseases, so it is somewhat practical to hang wormwood and calamus on the door. Some families even use herbs like atractlodes roots and angelica roots to smoke their room to good effect.

 

如果进一步引申,人们在这一天喝雄黄酒,拴五色线,佩戴香袋,说到底也是这么回事。民间传说《白蛇传》就提到,白娘娘是在端午节这天,一时大意,喝了雄黄酒,才不得不显露了原形的。人们历来以为,雄黄酒可以祛邪。医生却告诉我们,雄黄酒有毒,最好不要饮用。不过拿来外用,却有消毒的功效。

 

So it is easy to see that drinking realgar wine, binding five-colored thread, and wearing scent bags are just for the same reason. It is mentioned in the folktale, The Story of the White Snake, that the white snake was so negligent in drinking realgar wine that her original form was revealed. People always believe that realgar wine can drive away evils, but doctors say that it is poisonous and undrinkable. If applied externally, it has the effect of disinfection.

 

正因为历来都以为端午节是“恶日”,这一天会有许多邪恶和晦气袭来,人们为了对付它们,便要动用巫术。用今天的话来说,就是实施某种象征法的祛崇行为。比如有的地方用大红纸剪蜈蚣、蝎子、壁虎、蜘蛛、毒蛇的形状,称为“五毒”,贴在室内,表示镇压。给小孩子戴虎头帽,穿五毒衣、五毒裤,佩戴香袋,拴五色丝线,都是为了祛崇。有的地方还要在端午节吃“五黄”,指的是雄黄酒、黄鳝、黄鱼、黄瓜、咸鸭蛋,据说也是如此。

 

The Double-Fifth Festival is always regarded as anevil day on which evils and bad luck abound, so people have to use witchcraft to deal with them. In today’s wording, it is a kind of symbolic practice to drive away evils. For example, in some places, the red paper-cuts are posted indoors for the repression of the evils in the shape of a centipede, a scorpion, a house lizard, a spider and a poisonous snake called five poisons. To dress a child in a tiger-like cap, a coat and trousers with the patterns of the five poisons and a five-color thread is also to drive away evils. In some places people eat Five Yellows, like realgar wine, finless eel, yellow croaker, cucumber and salted duck eggs for the same reason.

 

悬挂钟馗的目的,就更加直露。古人以为钟馗是捉鬼的能人,在家里挂上他的像,妖魔鬼怪就不敢进来了。传说钟馗是个进士,有一年考中状元。皇帝嫌他长得太丑,要把他赶出金栾殿。钟馗暴跳如雷,当场自杀,死后就成了捉鬼的神灵。奈何桥的守桥小鬼又化作蝙蝠,为他做向导。又说,钟馗死后,他的同乡好友杜平为他安葬。钟馗为了感恩,把妹妹嫁给了杜平。当年有一幅《钟馗嫁妹》图,在民间是十分流行的。

 

It is much easier to find out the purpose of hanging a portrait of Zhong Kui. The ancient Chinese thought that Zhong Kui was capable of eliminating ghosts and demons, and hanging his portrait up in their homes could keep off evil spirits. According to legend, Zhong Kui took the examinations required to enter government services and got number one in the exams. But the Emperpor thought he was so ugly that he was driven out of the imperial palace. Furious, Zhong Kui killed himself and became the spirit of catching ghosts. The ghost who was changed from a bat and guarded the Naihe Bridge worked for him as a guide. Another saying is that his town fellow, Du Ping buried him after his death. Zhong Kui married off his little sister to Du Ping in return. The Picture of Zhong Kui Marrying off his Sister was very popular at that time.

 

不过有学者却指出,钟馗是虚构出来的。古代有终葵,也就是用来打击妖魔鬼怪的大木棒。后人以讹传讹,把终葵衍变成了钟馗,前后的读音则是一样的。作为一种节日风俗,钟馗捉鬼给人们留下了很深的印象。钟馗的画和有关钟馗的传说故事、戏曲小说,更加异彩纷呈、引人入胜。这样一个貌丑而心美,对鬼凶而对人善的艺术形象,则是很值得我们珍惜的。

 

However, some scholar have pointed out that Zhong Kui is a fictional image. In ancient times there was a big stick called Zhong Kui which was used to fight against evils and demons. With the descendants passing on the message incorrectly, the two Chinese characters changed but the pronunciation remains the same. The festival custom that Zhong Kui catches ghosts is impressive. The pictures, legends, traditional operas, and novels relating to Zhong Kui are various and appealing. The artistic image of his ugliness in appearance but beauty in heart, his ferocity to ghosts but kindness to man is very valuable to us.

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