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腊八The Laba Festival

(2010-05-04 16:48:29)
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杂谈

分类: Chineseculture
腊八The Laba Festival

 

农历十二月初八,俗称“腊八”,佛教徒称之为“佛祖成道节”。

 

Traditionally, the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month is the Laba Festival, which is well-known as a celebration of the day when Buddha achieved supreme enlightenment.

 

腊,原先是一种古老的祭礼。农业社会里,人们一年四季都很忙碌,一直要到十二月,才有了些空闲。这时候他们便要举行盛大的祭奠,来祭祀祖先,表示对祖先的感激之情,并且祈求祖先在新的一年里能继续保佑他们。这种祭奠往往需要猎取禽兽作为牺牲。“腊者,猎也”。古时这两个字是相通的。这种在十二月里举行盛大祭礼的风俗大约在周代已形成。《左传》、《史记》这些书里都有记载。

 

Originally, La referred to the sacrificial rites held in the twelfth lunar month when people stopped their yearly farm work and offered preys (the Chinese characters for prey and La were interchangeable then) to their ancestors, showing their gratitude and asking for blessings. According to Shiji( Historical Records) and Zouzhuan (Zuo’s Commentary) this custom of holding sacrificial rites in the twelfth lunar month took shape far back in the Zhou Dynasty (1046BC-221BC).

 

一开始的时候,只说是要在十二月里举行祭礼,所以称十二月为腊月,但腊月究竟是哪一天,似乎并没有定下来。只说十二月是腊月,或说是岁终腊祭,总之还有些含糊。汉代,确定冬至后的第三个戌日为“腊日”,不过具体日期还是很难计算,也不好记。大约到了南北朝,《荆楚岁时记》中才有了明确的记载:“十二月八日为腊日”。古人的祭祀,总不外乎两大目的,一是祈福求寿,一是避灾祛崇。《荆楚岁时记》中还提到“腊鼓”,说这一天人们要“击细腰鼓,戴胡头,及作金刚力士以逐疫”,这就是一种在驱逐巫术基础上衍变而成的民间歌舞表演了。这里提到戴面具,看起来是“傩仪”的一种。

 

At that time the twelfth month was called the month of La because of the ceremony held then. “Lari” namely “Laba”, however, was perhaps not decided yet. It seemed inappropriate to define the twelfth month or the ceremony held then as “Lari”. In the Han Dynasty(206BC---220AD), “Lari” fell on the day three weeks after Winter Solstice, which was actually hard to pin down or remember. Until aboyt the Southern and Northern Dynasties(420AD-581AD) there appeared records in Jingchu Suishiji(Festivals in the Jingchu Area) that the date of “Lari” was fixed on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month. The ancient people offered sacrifices to their ancestors mainly to pray for good health and longevity or to ward off disasters and evil spirits. According to Jingchu Suishiji on the Laba Festival, people played waisted drums(known as the La Dtum) and wore masks acting the Buddha’s warrior attendants to ward off illness. This folk dance is derived from the practice of removing curses and spells. Here wearing the mask is one of the Nuo rituals(nuo, to exorcise evil spirits).

 

这一天还要煮粥来吃,粥的花样也很别致,通常是把糯米和许多种杂粮掺在一起煮成,俗称“腊八粥”。

 

Another tradition of the Laba Festival is eating porridge. Though there are various kinds of porridge, traditionally the porridge is prepared with glutinous rice and coarse cereals, known as Laba rice porridge.

 

至迟在南宋时候,腊八粥就已十分盛行。《武林旧事》说:“(腊八)八日,则寺院及人家用胡桃、松子、乳蕈、柿栗之类作粥,谓之腊八粥。”《梦粱录》也说:“此月八日,寺院谓之腊八。大刹等寺,俱设无味粥,名曰腊八粥。”清代吴存楷《江乡节物诗》,又一次提到腊八粥,诗前小序称:“亦名七宝粥,本僧家斋供,今则居家者亦为之矣。”时至今日,一些寺庙里依旧保持这个传统,每年到了农历十二月初八这一天,总要烧上几大锅腊八粥,施舍给大家吃。旧时,一些有钱人家也会在这一天做善事,烧些腊八粥来接济穷苦百姓。久而久之,许多普通人家则纷纷效仿,索性在自己家里烧上一大锅别具风味的腊八粥,让大伙儿吃个痛快。不同的地域,又会形成不同的特色,诸如淮南的薏米粥、黑龙江的小黄米粥、杭州的藕粥,都颇有些名气。如今则有罐装食品“八宝粥”,也是在继承传统基础上的一种创新。

 

Laba rice porridge had become popular by the Southern Song Dynasty1127AD-1279AD. According to Wu Lin Jiu Shi Old Affairs of Wulin),on the eighth of the twelfth lunar monthLaba rice porridge was cooked in houses and temples containing walnuts pine nutsmushroomspersimmon nutsetc. According to Meng Liang LuRecord of the Colden Millet Dream), the eight day of the twelfth lunar month was called Laba in temples. In all big Buddhist temples Laba rice porridge was prepared with five ingredients. Wu Cunkai of the Qing Dynasty1644AD-1911ADalso mentioned Laba rice porridge in the preface to his writing Jiang Xiang Jie Wu Shi that Laba rice porridgealso called Qibao Seven Treasureporridgewas originally offered to the Buddha in templeslater becoming a popular dish among common people. Nowadays the tradition is still followed in some temples. On every Laba Festivalpots of porridge are prepared and offered to people as alms. In old times rich people would give Laba rice porridge to the poor in chairity. Gradually many people followed suit. Laba rice porridge has its local characteristicssuch as the porridge made of Jobs tears seed in the southern part of Anhui Province the millet porridge in Heilingjiang Provincethe Lotus seed porridge in Hangzhouwhich are all very famous. Based on the traditional cookingcanned porridge namely BabaoEight Treasureporridge has been developed.

 

为什么要在这一天吃这样的一种粥?据说有好几种说法:一种说法,是说佛教的创始人释迦牟尼在成佛之前,曾经游历印度的名山大川,以探究人生哲理。一次,他又饥又饿,酷热难熬,昏倒在地,是一位牧女用自己的午饭救了他。这午饭是用牛马等乳汁和米粟煮在一起的粥,称为“乳糜”。释迦牟尼吃了之后恢复了体力,这一天正是腊月初八。所以每逢这一天,佛寺僧众都要诵经演法,取香谷和各种果实煮粥,以示纪念。佛门又认为一切众生都是“未来佛”,都应该供养,所以总是将腊八粥广为施舍。后来民间竞起仿效,渐成风俗。清人顾禄《清嘉录》称:“八日为腊八,居民以苹果入米煮粥,谓之腊八粥。或有馈自僧尼者,名曰佛粥。”唐人李福《腊八粥》诗云:“腊月八曰粥,传自梵王国。七宝美调和,五味香糁入。用以供伊蒲,籍之作功德。”因为腊八粥有着一段不寻常的历史,所以受到佛教界的普遍重视,甚至以为这是一种药。《释氏稽古略》卷三载五代齐已《粥疏》,就给了它高度评价:“粥名良药,佛所称扬;义冠三种,功标十利。”

 

Legend about the origin of Laba rice porridge abound. One of the legends says that when on his way into the high Indian mountains in his quest for understanding and enlightenment, Sakyamuni, founder of Buddhism, grew tired and hungry. Exhausted from days of walking, he passed into unconsciousness. Ashepherdess found him there and fed him her lunch---porridge made with beans, rice and milk. Sakyamuni was thus able to continue his journey. That day was the eighth of the twelfth lunar month. Ever since, Sutras were chanted in the temples and rice porridge with beans, nuts and dried fruit was prepared for the Buddha on that day. Buddhists believed that everyone was Buddha of the Future and should be respected, so they offered Laba porridge to everyone. Later this practice was followed by common people and with the passage of time it developed into a custom. Gu Lu of the Qing Dynasty mentioned in his Qing Jia Lu (Records of Jiaqing Period of the Qing Dynasty) that on the Laba Festival people made porridge with rice and beans and called it Laba rice porridge. Porridge was also pffered by monks and nuns and they called it Buddha’s porridge. Li Fu of the Tang Dynasty(618AD-907AD) once wrote a poem tited Laba Rice Porridge: Laba rice porridge, introduced by Buddhists, containing seven ingredients and flavored by five spices, is very delicious; offered as a vegetarian dish, it spreads the teachings of Buddhism. Connected with such an unusual story, Laba rice porridge had received universal attention. It was even considered as a drug. As indicated in the essay on Porridge in Vol.3 of Outline of Historical Researches into the Sakya Family Lineage, the porridge, which is highly thought of by Buddhists, is a good medicine with three benefits and ten effects.

 

另一种说法,则与明太祖朱元璋有关。据说朱元璋nianqing 时以放牛为生,饥饿难挨,掘鼠洞掘出不少五谷杂粮,熬粥充饥。后来做了皇帝,吃腻了山珍海味,在腊八这一天忽然想起了当年吃的这种粥,让御厨照样做了送上去,果然别有风味,于是赐名“腊八粥”,传遍了天下。

 

Another story about Laba rice porridge has something to do with Zhu Yuanzhang, Emperor Taizu of the Ming Dynasty (1368AD---1644AD). It is said that when he was a cowboy he had to feed himself by cooking porridge with grains dug from the rat holes. Later when he became the emperor, he got fed up with all delicious foods. On the Laba Festival he remembered the porridge he had had as a boy and ordered his cook to make it according to his recipe, which turned out extremely good. The porridge with the name Laba rice porridge, became popular throughout the country.

 

还有一种说法也挺有趣的,就记载在明代李时珍,《本草纲目. 谷部》“赤豆”条,说是当年怒触不周山的那个共工氏有七个不肖之子,死后做了疫鬼,肆无忌惮,为所欲为,却偏偏害怕赤豆,所以人们相传在腊八日要做赤豆粥,用来打鬼。说是赤豆粥,其实要放进去好多东西,通常先是将赤豆、白云豆、绿豆、大麦等洗净,放水煮半熟,再放入大米、小米、黄米、高粱等,先用旺火,再用温火,把粥炖熟。吃时加糖,或伴以煮熟的红枣、栗子,还有在粥里放莲子、薏米、菱角米、白果、桂圆的,那就愈发讲究了。据说当年吃“腊八粥”还有一种仪式,先是打鬼,然后再吃粥。久而久之,大家心照不宣,觉得这个打鬼的仪式似乎有点玄乎,不做也罢,就一门心思吃起粥来。

 

There is still another interesting story, which was recorded by Li Shizhen of the Ming Dynasty in his work Compendium of Materia Medica: Grain Section to explain red bean. It goes like thisGong GongA red-haired giant monster of half man and half snake who started a war for power against the god of Zhuan Xu. Defeated he flied into a rage and hit his humongous head upon the Buzhou Mountain which was the Pillar supporting the skyhad seven unworthy sons who turned into ghosts of plague after death. They did what ever they liked and would stop at nothing except the red bean. In order to drive them away people passed down the tradition of making red bean porridge. The porridge actually had many ingredients. Red beanswhite kidney beansgreen beans and barley grains were cleaned and half cooked first. Then it was cooked again with ricemilletglutinous millet and sorghum. At the start the flame must be high but the fire was then turned down to let the porridge simmer. The porridge was then eaten with sugar or cooked dates and chestnuts. Sometimes lotus seedsJobs tears seedswater caltrop pulpginkgo and longan pulp were added to make it even more tasteful. It was said that Laba rice porridge was eaten after the ceremony of driving ghosts away. Gradually it became an unspoken understanding among people that the ceremony was somewhat ridiculous and unhelpful therefore they just ate the porridge without the ceremony.

 

吃腊八粥的说法很不一致,我们似乎也不必去强求一致,说到底这也只不过是人们对于风俗的一种解释罢了。总之,腊八粥是人民大众的一种集体创造,起初它可能还没这么好吃,放进去煮的花色品种也没这么多,后来大家集思广益,群策群力,你加一点,他添一点,就愈发精彩起来。清代《燕京岁时记》里也提到了“腊八粥”的煮法,那就更加复杂而别致。如今的年轻人只知道八宝粥,却不知道它起初叫“七宝粥”,又叫“腊八粥”,还有这么多讲究。如今知道了这些典故,再吃起来恐怕就格外有滋味了。

 

As indicated aboveorgins about Laba rice porridge vary greatly and it is unnecessary to decide which one is more reasonablesince they are just out understanding of the customs. AnywayLaba rice porridge has been developed is now nor did its ingredients vary so much. But as four eyes see more than two it was enriched little by little. In Yanjing Suishiji Yanjing Age In Mindwritten during the Qing Dynasty the cooking method of Laba rice porridge was also mentioned which seemed even more complicated and delicate. Nowadays young people only know about Babao Eight Treasureporridgebut not its original name QibaoSeven Treasure porridge or Laba rice porridge not to mention the stories behind it. Now that the people know the stories it would be different when they eat Laba riceporridge again.

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