当前位置:英美者>>游学英美>>英美文化>>节日>>浏览文章    

Superstitions of Halloween

2010年07月07日  所属:节日  来源:history.com  作者:history.com

本文用英语介绍万圣节之所以又称为鬼节的缘由。词义:Halloween,万圣节前夕、万圣夜、万圣节之夜,一般为每年的10月31日。

Superstitions of Halloween

Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. For these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world.

Today's Halloween ghosts are often depicted as more fearsome and malevolent, and our customs and superstitions are scarier too. We avoid crossing paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck. This idea has its roots in the Middle Ages, when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats. We try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. This superstition may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred; it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe. And around Halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks in the road or spilling salt.

But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today's trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead. In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday--with luck, by next Halloween!--be married.

In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it. In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl's future husband. (In some versions of this legend, confusingly, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.) Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night, she would dream about her future husband. Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands' initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water; and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands' faces.

Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry; at others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.

Of course, whether we're asking for romantic advice or trying to avoid seven years of bad luck, each one of these Halloween superstitions relies on the good will of the very same "spirits" whose presence the early Celts felt so keenly. Ours is not such a different holiday after all!

相关:

Superstitions of Halloween  
Halloween Comes to America  
Today’s Traditions of Halloween  
Halloween’s Ancient Origins


节日 最新资讯
· 清明节的来历英文简介
· April Fools’ Day
· 英美者情人节专辑
· 春节快乐!
· 万圣节相关的英语表达
· 中秋节的来历、中秋节的简介(英语介绍)
· 世界各地的父亲节的日期和庆祝
· Father’s Day还是Fathers’ Day?
· 父亲节( Father’s Day)英语介绍
· Children’s Day来历英文介绍

英美者 最新资讯
· 英美文化研究:英语姓名的引申意义
· 英美文化讲座:美国的地名
· 英美文化讲座:谈一谈英国的地名
· 从英语汉语语言差异看文化不同
· 清明节的来历英文简介
· April Fools’ Day
· Morning Song:英语美文诗歌
· 《白雪公主》中英文对照节选
· [mp3]经济不景气,西班牙人学英语热
· 经济不景气迫使西班牙人学英语(英语新闻mp3)
· 随身英语听力材料:图书馆出借电子书
经济不景气迫使西班牙人学
瑞士公投拒六周带薪假期(英
新iPad全球开卖:英语新闻
An October Sunrise:英语