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文化慢读:中国的元旦起源

http://www.chinesecio.com 2010年12月29日 17:20 网络孔子学院

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古代中国的元旦日,并非如今通用的“格列历”--公历的1月1日。从殷代定农历十二月初一为岁首,到汉代定在农历正月初一为岁首,曾有多次反反复复的改变。到民国时孙中山于1912年1月初在南京就任临时大总统时为“顺农时”、“便统计”,定农历正月初一为春节,改公历1月1日称为岁首“新年”,但仍称“元旦”。直到解放后中央人民政府颁布统一使用“全国年节和纪念日放假办法”,将公历1月1日规定为元旦节,并决定全国在此节放假一天。同时为区别农历和公历两个新年,又鉴于农历二十四个节气中的“立春”,恰在农历新年前后,因此改农历正月初一称为“春节”。

In ancient China, Yuan Dan was not on January 1st, as regulated in the Gregorian calendar. The date of Yuan Dan had been changed many times from the 1st of the 12th lunar month in Yin Dynasty to the 1st of the 1st lunar month in Han Dynasty. When Sun Yat-sen took office as the temporary President in Nanjing at the beginning of January of 1912, he set the 1st of the 1st lunar month as the Spring Festival while the 1st of January was set as the New Year, which was also called Yuan Dan.After liberation, the Central Government of China issued a National Festival and Memorial Day Holiday that set January 1st as Yuan Dan, which was a one-day holiday for the whole country. In order to distinguish the two New Years of both the lunar calendar and solar calendar, and as the "spring beginning" of the Lunar Calendar was always around the lunar New Year, the 1st of the 1st lunar month was called the Spring Festival.

“元旦”的“元”,指开始,是第一的意思,凡数之始称为“元”;“旦”,象形字,上面的“日”代表太阳,下面的“一”代表地平线。“旦”即太阳从地平线上冉冉升起,象征一日的开始。人们把“元”和“旦”两个字结合起来,就引申为新年开始的第一天。元旦又称“三元”,即岁之元、月之元、时之元。

Yuan means the beginning, the first. The beginning of a number is Yuan. Dan, which is a pictographic character in the Chinese language, means the day rises from the horizon, symbolizing the beginning of a day. When Yuan and Dan are combined, it means the first day of a New Year. Yuan Dan is also called Three Yuan, the beginning of a year, the beginning of a month and the beginning of an hour.
    还有个传说,是在4000多年前远古的尧舜盛世之时,尧天子在位时勤政于民为百姓办了很多好事,很受广大百姓爱戴,但因其子无才不太成器,他没把“天子”的皇位传给自己的儿子,而是传给了品德才能兼备的舜。尧对舜说:“你今后一定要把帝位传交好,待我死后也可安心瞑目了。”后来舜把帝位传给了治洪水有功的禹,禹亦像舜那样亲民爱民为百姓做了很多好事,都十分受人爱戴。后来人们把尧死后,舜帝祭祀天地和先帝尧的那一天,当作一年的开始之日,把正月初一称为“元旦”,或“元正”,这就是古代的元旦。

In a legend about the prosperous era of Yao and Shun some 4000 years ago, when Yao was the king, he created many benefits for the people and was loved by them. However, since his son was not as capable as him, Yao did not pass on his throne to his son but to Shun, a wise and saintly man. Yao said to Shun: “You must pass the throne to a right person. Then I will feel at peace when I die.” Shun passed his throne to Yu, who was a hero because he could control flooding. Just like Shun, Yu also did a lot of good deeds for the people and was revered by them. After Yao died, Shun set the day he made sacrifices to the heavens and gods, as well as to the late Yao, as the first day of the year, and the first day of the 1st lunar month became known as Yuan Dan or Yuan Zheng.

    历代皇朝都在元旦举行庆贺典仪祈祀等活动,如祭诸神祭先祖,写门对挂春联,书写福字、舞龙灯,民间也逐渐形成祭神佛、祭祖先、贴春联、放鞭炮、守岁、吃团圆饭以及众多的“社火”等娱乐欢庆活动。 This was Yuan Dan in ancient times. Previous dynasties would organize celebrations and sacrifices on Yuan Dan, for example sacrificing to the immortals and their forefathers, writing Spring Festival scrolls, writing character fortunes anddragon dancing. People also celebrated the day by making sacrifices to immortals and ancestors, pasting spring festival scrolls onto their houses, setting off firecrackers, staying up all night, eating dinners at reunions as well as putting on a "society fire".
    在民国以后虽然定1月1日为新年,当时只有机关、学校以及外国经营的洋行大商号等才放假1天,老百姓并不承认,仍延承古时旧习以农历初一为新年,因此老北京的街市上与民间均没有什么欢庆活动。解放后将1月1日岁首改称为“元旦”节后,政府仍按照几千年来使用的农历历法按农时节令,在立春前后冬闲时期的“春节”放假三天,民间办“庙会”等欢庆,传承百姓的心愿和千百年的民俗。 Though January 1st was set as the New Year in the Republic of China, only governmental departments, schools and foreign companies took the day off. People didn't recognize it as New Year but still applied the 1st of the first lunar month as the New Year. Therefore, there were no celebrations in old Beijing on that day. After liberation, January 1st was set as Yuan Dan and the government set a three-day holiday during the Spring Festival in the traditional lunar calendar. Celebrations like temple fairs were organized and the thousand-year-old custom was accepted by the people.

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