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Note: originated(发源)harvested(收获)hollowed(挖空)decoration(装饰)costumes(戏服)tricks(戏弄)corn(谷物)panes(窗格玻璃)disturbances(小骚扰) (来源:专业英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

Boxing Day 节礼日(初)

    In the English-speaking world, the day after Christmas Day has a special name. We call it Boxing Day.

   This makes it sound like a day on which everyone has a fight, but the name has nothing to do with the sport of boxing. It derives from the custom in former times of presenting servants and tradesmen with a Christmas box or gift. Here in Britain we still talk about giving the milkman or newspaper-delivery boy a Christmas box, when we mean a sum of money or present. The expression dates from the time when the money would have been put into an actual box.

   Boxing Day in modern times is a quiet day. Most people are recovering from the large meals they ate the day before. The children have new toys to keep them happy, and the adults are content to watch them play.

   Perhaps it would be a good idea of Boxing Day actually was made to honor that sport. Then, on other days, we could celebrate Football Day, Cricket Day, Hockey Day, and so on. There are probably enough different sports to allow each day of the year to have one to itself.

Christmas Day 圣诞节(中)

   Christmas is a joyful religious (宗教的) holiday when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The Christmas story comes from the Bible (圣经). An angel appeared to shepherds (牧羊人) and told them that a Savior (救世主) had been born to Mary and Joseph in a stable in Bethlehem. Three Wise Man from the East (the Magic) followed a wondrous star which led them to the baby Jesus to whom they paid homage (表示敬意) and presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. To people all over the world, Christmas is a season of giving and receiving presents. In Scandinavian and other European countries, Father Christmas, or Saint Nicholas, comes into houses in the night and leaves gifts for the children. Saint Nicholas is represented as a kindly man with a red cloak and long white beard. He visited houses and left gifts, bringing people happiness in the coldest months if the year. Anther character (人物) , the Norse God Odin, rode on a magical flying horse across the sky in the winter to reward people with gifts. These different legends (传说)passed the ages to make the present-day Santa Claus. Immigrant settlers brought Father Christmas to the United States. Father Christmas's name was gradually changed to Santa Claus, from the Dutch name for Father Christmas, which is Sinter Claus Although he has origins (渊源) in Norse and pre-Christian mythology (神话) , Santa Claus took shape in the United States. American gave Santa Claus a white beard, dressed him in a red suit and made him a cheery old gentleman with red cheeks and twinkle in his eye. Several American towns maintain the spirit of Santa Claus. The New England State of Connecticut has a Christmas village where "Santa" and his elves give out gifts. In New York, a small town called the North Pole was designed for Santa Claus. There is a post office, a church and a blacksmith shop, to repair the shoes of the reindeer. Santa Claus exists only in our imagination. But he, Saint Nicholas, and Father Christmas are spirits of giving, Christmas has been associated with gift giving since the Wise Men brought gifts to welcome the newborn Jesus Christ.

Christmas Tree 圣诞节(中)

   One thing that most homes in America have at Christmas time is a Christmas tree, even in Hawaii where trees must be brought in by ship. But why a tree at Christmas? Trees have always been given a special place in the myths(神话), legends(传说), traditions, and religious beliefs(宗教信仰). Germany---The Christmas tree really started in Germany. Some historians think that the Christmas tree was a kind of Christian(基督教的 ) hope for spring to come soon. Why? Well, first of all, Christmas Day comes right after the longest winter night, and people in the far north would soon expect the days to come longer. And, of course, Christ's birth was associated with (与......相联系)the bringing in new life. Second, an evergreen tree (one that stayed green all winter long) was eventually also connected by Christians with the idea of everlasting (永恒的)life, which Jesus Christ said he was bringing from God to Mankind. Paradise (天堂)tree--- In addition, Christians had for centuries honored Adam and Eve on December 24th by bringing into their house an evergreen tree the called the paradise tree. (Paradise was one name used in the Bible for the Garden of Eden(伊甸园), the home of the first human Adam and Eve.) And they decorated their Paradise Tree with red apples. (By Harvey M. Taylor, Ph.D. Special Days Special Ways, Peking University Press )

NEW YEAR’S DAYS 新年(中)

   "Happy New year!"

   "The same to you, and many more." The familiar greeting heard throughout the United States on January First has a counterpart in every land. The words may be different and the dates may vary, but New Year greetings everywhere express the hope for renewed life and happiness.

 
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