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Festivals

MP3 sound recording (link)
宋先生:史密斯先生,明天是端午节,我带了盒粽子给你。这也算我们中国的特产,你回去尝尝?这一盒有6个,两个肉粽,两个白粽,还有两个蛋黄粽,回头你跟我说你喜欢哪种,我再给你准备几盒带回去?
史密斯:宋先生你太客气啦! 谢谢谢谢! 你们端午节放假吗?
宋先生:以前不放。前年国家颁布了新的节假安排,现在好像有3天假期了。以前只有在春节、劳动节和国庆节的时候放假。
史密斯:怪不得我看会议时间表里,这几天都没有会议安排呢。
宋先生:是啊,假期你可以在北京到处走走。你去了颐和园或者故宫没?
史密斯:故宫已经去过了,打算到时候去下颐和园和天坛。
宋先生:去过啦?看起来史密斯先生你在中国适应得很快啊!
史密斯:也不是啦,李先生叫了他妹妹给我做导游,不然我还真是有点晕。
宋先生:那对故宫印象如何?
史密斯:故宫实在是很大,走了一整天都没有走完。不过确实是开眼界了,幸亏有李小姐介绍,不然我都不知道在看些什么,旅行手册里面说的不是很详细。
宋先生:不错不错,其实端午假期我本来还想叫你去天津看赛龙舟的。
史密斯:赛龙舟?
宋先生:就是划船比赛啊!你们英国不是也有类似的吗?
史密斯:确实有的,好像就是东方传过来的。我们经常在泰晤士河上面比赛。
宋先生:是吧?不过我考虑到你刚到没多久,又一直在开会,太累了,还是让你休息休息,在北京周边看看比较好。
史密斯:嗯,这次的行程太紧了,有点可惜。对了你们春节的假期长吗?有几天呢?
宋先生:一般有15天。今年春节的时候,我们全家去海南岛旅游了。
史密斯:那跟我们的圣诞差不多啊? 春节是中国最大的节日吧?
宋先生:那肯定的,过年嘛! 辞旧迎新,自然是最大的事情。跟你们的圣诞节差不多的寓意,圣诞节是关于耶稣诞生的嘛?我们这边庆祝新的四季周期开始,而且跨年嘛,全世界都一样热闹。

MP3 sound recording (link)
史密斯:中国人一般春节都做什么?我们圣诞节一般全家大聚餐,吃火鸡,互相送礼物。
宋先生:其实差不多,以前还有好多传统的,比如舞龙舞狮,庙会, 贴春联啊窗花啊,放鞭炮,清理屋子;现在基本就家人聚餐,放烟花,然后亲朋好友相互拜访,给远方的故人发发贺卡。越来越简化了。
史密斯:这样啊?中国还有哪些传统的节日呢? 其他节日是什么情况?
宋先生:还有元宵节,中秋节,清明节,重阳节等等。 元宵节以前是赏灯,还会有游园会,中秋节么当然全家团圆,清明节是祭祖,还有好多。现在这些大多都不办了, 现在的人都比较忙。
史密斯:端午节是吃粽子,那这些节日有没有吃什么的惯例呢?
宋先生:哈哈!史密斯先生,你倒是真的一点就通啊!有啊,比如除夕冬至要吃饺子、元宵吃汤圆和中秋吃月饼,还有好多小的节日也有一些传统食物,我都不记得了!这些年头年轻人都不过节啦!
史密斯:那还蛮遗憾的。
宋先生:咳,遗憾啥,时代在变嘛。

Festivals

Sòng xiānsheng: Shǐmìsī xiānsheng, míngtiān shi Duānwǔjié, wǒ dàile hé zòngzi gěi nǐ. Zhè yě suàn wǒmen Zhōngguó de tèchǎn, nǐ huíqu chángchang? Zhè yì hé yǒu liù ge, liǎng ge ròuzòng, liǎng ge báizòng, hái yǒu liǎng ge dànhuángzòng, huítóu nǐ gēn wǒ shuō nǐ xǐhuan nǎ zhòng, wǒ zài gěi nǐ zhǔnbèi jǐ hé dàihuíqù?
Shǐmìsī: Sòng xiānsheng nǐ tài kèqila! Xièxie xièxie! Nǐmen Duānwǔjié fàngjià ma?
Sòng xiānsheng: Yǐqián bú fàng. Qiánnián guójiā bānbùle xīn de jiéjià ānpái, xiànzài hǎoxiàng yǒu sān tiān jiàqī le. Yǐqián zhǐ yǒu zài Chūnjié, Láodòngjié hé Guóqìngjié de shíhou fàngjià.
Shǐmìsī: Guàibudé wǒ kàn huìyì shíjiànbiǎo lǐ, zhè jǐ tiān dōu méi yǒu huìyì ānpái ne.
Sòng xiānsheng: Shì a, jiàqī nǐ kěyǐ zài Běijīng dàochù zǒuzou. Nǐ qùle Yíhéyuán huòzhě Gùgōng méi?
Shǐmìsī: Gùgōng yǐjīng qùguole, dǎsuàn dào shíhou qù xià Yíhéyuán hé Tiāntán.
Sòng xiānsheng: Qùguo la? Kànqǐlái Shǐmìsī xiānsheng nǐ zài Zhōngguó shìyìng de hěn kuài a!
Shǐmìsī: Yě bú shì la, Lǐ xiānsheng jiàole tā mèimei gěi wǒ zuò dǎoyóu, bùrán wǒ hái zhēnshì yǒudiǎn yūn.
Sòng xiānsheng: Nà duì Gùgōng yìnxiàng rúhé?
Shǐmìsī: Gùgōng shízài shì hěn dà, zǒule yìzhěngtiān dōu méi yǒu zǒuwán. Búguò quèshí shi kāiyǎnjiè le, xìngkuī yǒu Lǐ xiǎojie jièshào, bùrán wǒ dōu bù zhīdào zài kàn xiē shénme, lǚxíng shǒucè lǐmiàn shuō de bú shi hěn xiángxì.
Sòng xiānsheng: Búcuò búcuò, qíshí Duānwǔ jiàqī wǒ běnlái hái xiǎng jiào nǐ qù Tiānjīn kàn sài Lóngzhōu de.
Shǐmìsī: Sài Lóngzhōu?
Sòng xiānsheng: Jiù shi huáchuán bǐsài a! Nǐmen Yīngguó bú shi yě yǒu lèisì de ma?
Shǐmìsī: Quèshí yǒu de, hǎoxiàng jiù shi dōngfāng chuánguòlai de. Wǒmen jīngcháng zài Tàiwùshì hé shàngmian bǐsài.
Sòng xiānsheng: Shì ba? Búguò wǒ kǎolǜdào nǐ gāng dào méi duō jiǔ, yòu yìzhí zài kāihuì, tài lèile, háishi ràng nǐ xiūxi xiūxi, zài Běijīng zhōubiān kànkan bǐjiào hǎo.
Shǐmìsī: Èn, zhè cì de xíngchéng tài jǐnle, yǒudiǎn kěxī. Duìle nǐmen Chūnjié de jiàqī cháng ma? Yǒu jǐ tiān ne?
Sòng xiānsheng: Yìbān yǒu shíwǔ tiān. Jīnnián Chūnjié de shíhou, wǒmen quánjiā qù Hǎinándǎo lǚyóule.
Shǐmìsī: Nà gēn wǒmen de Shèngdàn chàbuduō? Chūnjié shì Zhōngguó zuì dà de jiérì ba?
Sòng xiānsheng: Nà kěndìng de, guònián ma! Cíjiù yíngxīn, zìrán shi zuì dà de shìqing. Gēn nǐmen de Shèngdànjié chàbuduō de yùyì, Shèngdànjié shi guānyú Yēsū dànshēng de ma? Wǒmen zhèbiān qìngzhù xīn de sìjì zhōuqī kāishǐ, érqiě kuànián ma, quán shìjiè dōu yíyàng rè’nào.

Shǐmìsī: Zhōngguórén yìbān Chūnjié dōu zuò shénme? Wǒmen Shèngdànjié yìbān quánjiā dà jùcān, chī huǒjī, hùxiāng sòng lǐwù.
Sòng xiānsheng: Qíshí chàbuduō, yǐqián hái yǒu hǎo duō chuántǒng de, bǐrú wǔlóng wǔshī, miàohuì, tiē chūnlián a chuānghuā a, fàng biānpào, qīnglǐ wūzi; xiànzài jīběn jiù jiārén jùcān, fàng yānhuā, ránhòu qīnpéng hǎoyǒu xiānghù bàifǎng, gěi yuǎnfāng de gùrén fāfa hèkǎ. Yuèláiyuè jiǎnhuàle.
Shǐmìsī: Zhèyàng a? Zhōngguó hái yǒu nǎ xiē chuántǒng de jiérì ne? Qítā jiérì shì shénme qíngkuàng?
Sòng xiānsheng: Hái yǒu Yuánxiāojié, Zhōngqiūjié, Qīngmíngjié, Chóngyángjié děngděng. Yuánxiāojié yǐqián shì shǎngdēng, hái huì yǒu yóuyuánhuì, Zhōngqiūjié me dāngrán quánjiā tuányuán, Qīngmíngjié shi jìzǔ, hái yǒu hǎo duō. Xiànzài zhè xiē dàduō dōu bú bànle, xiànzài de rén dōu bǐjiào máng.
Shǐmìsī: Duānwǔjié shì chī zòngzi, nà zhè xiē jiérì yǒu méi yǒu chī shénme de guànlì ne?
Sòng xiānsheng: Hāhā! Shǐmìsī xiānsheng, nǐ dàoshi zhēnde yìdiǎn jiù tōng a! Yǒu a, bǐrú Chúxī Dōngzhì yào chī jiǎozi, Yuánxiāo chī tāngyuán hé Zhōngqiū chī yuèbǐng, hái yǒu hǎo duō xiǎo de jiérì yě yǒu yìxiē chuántǒng shíwù, wǒ dōu bú jìdele! Zhèxiē niántóu niánqīngrén dōu bú guòjié la!
Shǐmìsī: Nà hái mán yíhàn de.
Sòng xiānsheng: Hài, yíhàn shá, shídài zài biàn ma.

Vocab and notes

端午节 Duānwǔjié ‘Dragon Boat Festival’
带 dài ‘take, bring (something for somebody)’
盒 hé (measure word for boxes)
粽子 zòngzi ‘rice dumplings’
算 suàn ‘be considered (as)’
特产 tèchǎn ‘speciality’
回去 huíqu ‘go home/back’
尝 cháng ‘to taste’
肉粽 ròuzòng ‘meat dumpling’
白粽 báizòng ‘plain dumpling’
蛋黄粽 ‘egg dumpling’. 蛋黄 Dànhuáng is ‘egg yolk’.
回头 huítóu ‘later’
准备 zhǔnbèi ‘prepare’
你太客气啦。 Nǐ tài kèqila ‘You’re too kind to me.’
放假 fàngjià ‘be on / have a holiday’
以前 yǐqián ‘previously, in the past’
前年 qiánnián ‘the year before last’
国家 guójiā ‘country, state’
颁布 bānbù ‘proclaim’
节假安排 jiéjià ānpái ‘arrangements for holidays’
假期 jiàqī ‘vacation’
春节 Chūnjié ‘Spring Festival’
劳动节 Láodòngjié ‘International Labour Day’
国庆节 Guóqìngjié ‘National Day’ (PRC)
怪不得 guàibudé ‘no wonder’
时间表 shíjiànbiǎo ‘timetable, schedule’
到处走走 dàochù zǒuzou ‘go everywhere’. Note that 走走 is actually pronounced zóuzou.
颐和园 Yíhéyuán ‘Summer Palace’
故宫 Gùgōng ‘Forbidden City’
没 Méi. Way of asking a question, literally '(or) not'. Cf. Questions with verb 不 bu verb.
天坛 Tiāntán ‘Temple of Heaven’
打算 dǎsuàn ‘plan, intend’
到时候 dào shíhou ‘sometime’
去下 qù xià ‘just go to’ is short for 去以下 qù yíxià.
看起来 kànqǐlái ‘it looks as if, it seems that’
适应 shìyìng ‘adapt’
对故宫印象如何? Duì Gùgōng yìnxiàng rúhé? ‘What was your impression of the Forbidden City?’
叫 jiào ‘call; cause; ask’
导游 dǎoyóu ‘tour guide
不然 bùrán ‘otherwise’
还真是有点晕 Wǒ hái zhēnshì yǒudiǎn yūn ‘I would have been a little confused’. 还 Hái ‘still, also’ adds emphasis here.
实在 shízài ‘really’
一整天 yìzhěngtiān ‘a/the whole day’
走完 zǒuwán ‘finish going/walking’. This is a resultative complement.
确实 quèshí ‘certainly’
开眼界 kāiyǎnjiè‘be an eye-opener’
幸亏 xìngkuī ‘fortunately’
小姐 xiǎojie ‘miss’. Pronounced xiáojie.
介绍 jièshào ‘introduce, explain’
不然我都不知道在看些什么 bùrán wǒ dōu bù zhīdào zài kàn xiē shénme ‘otherwise I wouldn’t have known what I was looking at’. 些 Xiē indicates that several things were being looked at.
旅行手册 lǚxíng shǒucè ‘guide book’
详细 xiángxì ‘detailed’
不错 búcuò ‘(it sounds) good’
其实 qíshí ‘actually’
本来 běnlái ‘originally’
赛龙舟 sài Lóngzhōu ‘Dragon Boat race’
不错不错,其实端午假期我本来还想叫你去天津看赛龙舟的。 Búcuò búcuò, qíshí Duānwǔ jiàqī wǒ běnlái hái xiǎng jiào nǐ qù Tiānjīn kàn sài Lóngzhōu de. 'That sounds good. Actually I was thinking of asking you to go to Tianjin for the Dragon Boat Festival to see the Dragon Boat races.' 的 De adds a matter-of-fact tone.
划船比赛 huáchuán bǐsài ‘rowing competition’
类似 lèisì ‘similar’
确实有的,好像就是东方传过来的。 Quèshí yǒu de, hǎoxiàng jiù shi dōngfāng chuánguòlai de. ‘There certainly is. Apparently it spread over from the orient.' 的 De is matter-of-fact. 传过来 Chuánguòlai ‘spread over from’
经常 jīngcháng ‘often’
泰晤士河 Tàiwùshì hé ‘the River Thames’
不过我考虑到你刚到没多久。 Wǒ kǎolǜdào nǐ gāng dào méi duō jiǔ. ‘I thought it wasn't long since you've arrived.’ 考虑 Kǎolǜ ‘consider, think’
又 yòu ‘moreover’
一直 yìzhí ‘always’ (from some point in the past and continuing)
让 ràng ‘cause, let’
在北京周边 zài Běijīng de zhōubiān ‘around Beijing’
嗯 èn ‘mm, all right, yes’
行程 xíngchéng 'schedule'
紧 jǐn 'tight'
有点可惜 Yǒudiǎn kěxī. ‘It’s a bit of a shame.’
对了 duìle ‘all right’ (buying time)
一般 yìbān ‘generally’
全家 quánjiā ‘whole family’
旅游 lǚyóu ‘trip, tour’
跟…差不多 gēn … chàbuduō ‘quite like …’
节日 jiérì ‘holiday, festival’
肯定 kěndìng ‘certain, sure’
过年 guònián ‘celebrate the (Chinese) new year’
嘛 ma ‘Isn’t it the case that?’ (assertive sentence final particle)
辞旧迎新 cíjiù yíngxīn ‘say goodbye to the old year and see in the new year’
自然 zìrán ‘naturally’
寓意 yùyì ‘(implicit) meaning’
关于 guānyú ‘about’
耶稣 Yēsū ‘Jesus’
诞生 dànshēng 'birth’
庆祝 qìngzhù ‘celebrate’
四季 sìjì ‘four seasons’
周期 zhōuqī ‘coming round’
而且 érqiě ‘moreover’
跨年 kuànián 'changing the year'
全世界 quán shìjiè ‘the whole world’
热闹 rè’nào ‘lively’
聚餐 jùcān ‘dinner’
火鸡 huǒjī ‘turkey’
互相 hùxiāng ‘each other, mutually’
礼物 lǐwù ‘present’
传统 chuántǒng ‘tradition’
比如 bǐrú ‘for example’
舞龙 wǔlóng ‘dragon dance’
舞狮 wǔshī ‘lion dance’
庙会 miàohuì ‘temple fair’
贴春联 tiē chūnlián ‘put up Spring Festival couplets’
窗花 chuānghuā ‘window decoration’
放鞭炮 fàng biānpào ‘set off firecrackers’
清理屋子 qīnglǐ wūzi ‘tidy the house’
基本 jīběn ‘basically’
家人 jiārén ‘family’
放烟花 fàng yānhuā ‘set off fireworks’
亲朋好友 qīnpéng hǎoyǒu ‘friends and family, kith and kin’
拜访 bàifǎng ‘visit’
远方 yuǎnfāng ‘distant, far away’
故人 gùrén ‘old friend’
发贺卡 fā hèkǎ ‘send a greeting card’
简化了 jiǎnhuàle ‘become simplified’
这样啊? Zhèyàng a? ‘Is that so?’
其他 qítā ‘other, the rest’
情况 qíngkuàng ‘situation’
元宵节 Yuánxiāojié ‘Lantern Festival’
中秋节 Zhōngqiūjié ‘Mid-autumn festival’
清明节 Qīngmíngjié ‘Qingming Festival’
重阳节 Chóngyángjié ‘Double Ninth Festival’
等等 děngděng ‘etc.’
赏灯 shǎngdēng ‘appreciating the lanterns’
游园会 Yóuyuánhuì ‘the Mid-August Fair’
…么 …me ‘as far as … is concerned’
当然 dāngrán ‘obviously’
全家 quánjiā ‘the whole family’
团圆 tuányuán ‘have a reunion’
祭祖 jìzǔ ‘offer sacrifices to one’s ancestors’
大多 dàduō ‘mostly’
办 bàn ‘carry out’
惯例 guànlì ‘custom’
哈 hā ‘aha’
倒是 dàoshi ‘actually’
一点就通 yì diǎn jiù tōng
除夕 Chúxī ‘new Year’s Eve’
冬至 Dōngzhì ‘Winter Solstice’
饺子 jiǎozi ‘dumplings’
汤圆 tāngyuán ‘balls of glutinous rice flour’
月饼 yuèbǐng ‘moon cake’
食物 shíwù ‘food’
这年头 zhè niántóu ‘these days’
年轻人 niánqīngrén ‘young people’
过节 guòjié ‘celebrate a festival’
蛮 mán ‘quite’
遗憾 yíhàn ‘regrettable’
咳 hài ‘the sound of sighing’
啥 shá is colloquial for 什么情况 shénme qíngkuàng ‘situation’.
时代在变嘛。 Shídài zài biàn ma. ‘Times are changing.’

Festivals

Mr Song: Mr Smith, tomorrow is the Dragon Boat Festival; I’ve brought a box of rice dumplings for you. They are also considered to be Chinese specialities, would you like to take them home and taste them? This box has six in it, two meat dumplings, two plain ones and also two egg dumplings. Shall we talk later about which ones you like best and then I’ll prepare some boxes of them for when you go back?
Mr Smith: You are too good to me. Many thanks. Are you on holiday for the Dragon Boat Festival?
Mr Song: In the past we didn’t have a holiday. The year before last the governement announced new arrangements for festival holidays, so apparently we now get three days’ holiday. In the past we only got holidays for Spring Festival, International Labour Day and the National Day.
Mr Smith: No wonder when I looked in the schedule for the conference there were no arrangements for meetings on those days.
Mr Song: That’s right. During the holiday you can go all over Beijing. Have you been to the Summer Palace or the Forbidden City?
Mr Smith: I’ve already been to the Forbidden City and I’m planning to go to the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven sometime.
Mr Song: You’ve been? It seems that you’ve adapted to China very quickly.
Mr Smith: Not really, Mr Li asked his elder sister to act as a guide, otherwise I would really have got a bit lost.
Mr Song: What were your impressions of the Forbidden City?
Mr Smith: The Forbidden City is really very large and even if one walks around all day, one won’t finish. But it’s certainly an eye-opener and I was lucky to have Miss Li to explain it, otherwise I wouldn’t have known what I was looking at. What was in the travel guide wasn’t very detailed.
Mr Song: That sounds good. Actually I was thinking of asking you to go to Tianjin for the Dragon Boat Festival to see the Dragon Boat races.
Mr Smith: Dragon boat races?
Mr Song: It's a rowing competition! Don't the British have something similar?
Mr Smith: We certainly do. Apparently it spread over from the orient. We often have competitions on the River Thames.
Mr Song: Really? But I thought that you hadn't been here long, moreover you've been at the conference all along and you're really tired and I should let you rest instead, and it's better to watch a race in the area surrounding Beijing.
Mr Smith: Mm, this time my schedule was too tight, so it's a bit of a shame. Well, is the Spring Festival long? How many days is it?
Mr Song: Generally it's 15 days. This year the whole family is going on a trip to Hainan Island.
Mr Smith: So is it more or less like our Christmas? Is the Spring Festival China's greatest festival?
Mr Song: That's certainly the case, well it is the New Year isn't it! Saying goodbye to the old one and welcoming in the New Year is naturally the greatest thing; it has more or less the same meaning as your Christmas. Christmas is about Jesus' birth isn't it? Here we celebrate the changing of the seasons and the change from one year to another; it's a lively time in a similar way all over the world.

Mr Smith: What do Chinese people do at Spring Festival? We generally have large family dinners at Christmas, eat turkey and exchange presents.
Mr Song: Actually it's more or less the same. In the past there were a lot of traditions, such as dragon and lion dances, temple fairs and sticking up things like Spring Festival couplets and window decorations, lighting firecrackers and tidying the house. Nowadays basically the family has a meal together, we have fireworks, then friends and family visit each other and we send greeting cards to old friends living far away. It has become more and more simplified.
Mr Smith: Is that so? Does China still have some traditional festivals? What are the other festivals like?
Mr Song: There are still the Lantern Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Qingming Festival, the Double Ninth Festival etc. Before the Lantern Festival there is shangdeng (lantern admiration) and there is still Youyuanhui (the Mid-August Fair) and as far as the Mid-Autumn Festival is concerned, the whole family has a reunion; the Qingming Festival has sacrifices to ancestors; there are still quite a few. Nowadays most of these are no longer kept; modern people are so busy.
Mr Smith: At the Dragon Boat Festival one eats rice dumplings; are there eating customs at those festivals?
Mr Song: Aha! You actually only need a hint and you understand. There are, for example, on New Year's Eve and at the Winter Solstice, one eats dumplings, at the Lantern Festival one eats tangyuan (balls of glutinous rice flour) and at the Mid-Autumn Festival moon cookies, and there are also many small festivals with traditional food, I can't remember them all! These days young people have all stopped celebrating festivals!
Mr Smith: Well, that's really quite a shame.
Mr Song: Mm, it's a shame that the times are changing.

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