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VOA慢速英语20061225b

时间:2007-01-14 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:belle0920   字体: [ ]
    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)

VOICE ONE:

Welcome to THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English. I'm Barbara Klein.

VOICE TWO:

And I'm Steve Ember.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:


Christmas trees in Rockefeller Center

For millions of Americans, the most wonderful day of the year is December twenty-fifth -- Christmas.

For one thing, it marks the end of the most busy time of year. Many people need a rest after weeks of buying gifts, going to parties, organizing travel and getting their homes ready for the holiday.

VOICE TWO:

With all this, it is often said that Christmas has lost its meaning as the birthday of Jesus Christ. Some churches in the United States have cancelled Christmas Day services, so people can spend the day with their families. This was even true last year when Christmas came on a Sunday, the traditional day of worship.

These churches still offer Christmas Eve services, though. And many Christians2 still go to church on Christmas Day or the night before. They consider it an important part of celebrating the holiday.

Another important part of the Christmas season is music. Among traditional carols, one of the most popular is Silent Night.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Most Americans identify themselves as Christian1, even if they are not very religious. But the freedom to choose any religion, or no religion at all, is guaranteed by the Constitution. The Constitution separates religion and government.

Yet each year brings disputes over holiday observances that some may see as too religious for public schools or other public places.

Others say the real problem is too much political correctness; things like saying Happy Holidays when people mean Merry Christmas. They say people should not be so worried about the risk of offending a stranger.

VOICE TWO:

But not all Americans celebrate Christmas. And even those who do might not celebrate it as a religious holiday. This is true of Christians as well as non-Christians. Still, they treat it as a special day.

And it is hard to think of anyone that Christmas is more special for than children. Of course, this has a lot to do with the tradition of a kindly3 old man with a big belly4 and a bright red suit. Children know Santa Claus as the one who leaves gifts under the tree on Christmas Eve.

But only if they are good little children and go to sleep.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Stores crowded with holiday gift buyers may be good for the economy. But some people celebrate Christmas in less material ways. For example, they volunteer to serve meals at shelters for the homeless or visit old people in nursing homes. To them, this is honoring the true spirit of Christmas.

VOICE TWO:

Christmastime centers on home and family.


a family gathers around the Christmas tree

Once people bring home a Christmas tree, they may struggle with setting it up so it does not fall over. But then they enjoy decorating it with colorful lights and ornaments5.

In some families, the tradition is to open gifts on Christmas Eve. In others, though, people wait until Christmas morning to open their presents.

A big Christmas dinner is a tradition in many families. And so are special treats like Christmas cookies covered in powdered sugar.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Many people travel long distances to be home with their families at Christmas. But not everyone is able to be with loved ones. For some, Christmas can be a lonely time. Most businesses and public places are closed for the holiday. But some restaurants stay open and serve Christmas dinner.

A retired6 man in Washington, D.C., says he enjoys his Christmas dinner at a local restaurant. In fact, he says that after spending several Christmases there, he has become friends with other people who spend their Christmases there, too.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Caroling is a Christmas tradition that goes back hundreds of years. Sometimes carolers walk along a street and the group stops at each house to sing a song. Other times they gather in a public place. Carolers may visit places like shopping centers, hospitals and nursing homes. School choruses7 are often invited to sing songs of the holiday season.

And, of course, caroling can be found in churches. Listen as the choir8 of Trinity Church in Boston sings Carol of the Bells.

(MUSIC)


Two children are fascinated9 by a Hanukkah menorah and lighted candles

VOICE ONE:

December is usually also the time of the ancient Jewish holiday of Hanukkah; this year it began at sundown on December fifteenth. The eight-day Festival of Lights honors the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees defeated King Atiochus of Syria.

Muslims will celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha in January. The Feast10 of Sacrifice marks the end of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca.

VOICE TWO:


Kwanzaa celebration - lighting11 of candles

Most black Americans celebrate Christmas. But after Christmas, from December twenty-sixth to January first, many also celebrate Kwanzaa. This African-American holiday honors culture, community and family. The name comes from a Swahili term meaning first fruits. Kwanzaa started during the nineteen-sixties, an important period in the modern civil rights movement.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

For many children, a favorite Christmas tradition is watching a performance of the ballet The Nutcracker. The Russian composer Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky wrote the music in eighteen ninety-one. The Nutcracker is a story told in dance about a young girl named Clara.

Clara is celebrating Christmas with her family and friends. One of her gifts is a wooden nutcracker shaped like a toy soldier. Clara is shown how to put a nut in the mouth to break the shell open with the head. But she dreams that the nutcracker comes to life as a good-looking prince.

VOICE TWO:

We leave you with the Philadelphia Orchestra12 under Eugene Ormandy performing The Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Our program was written by Jerilyn Watson and produced by Caty Weaver13. I'm Barbara Klein.

VOICE TWO:

And I'm Steve Ember. You can find archives of our programs on the Web at www.unsv.com. And we hope you can join us again next week for THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 Christian KVByl     
adj.基督教徒的;n.基督教徒
参考例句:
  • They always addressed each other by their Christian name.他们总是以教名互相称呼。
  • His mother is a sincere Christian.他母亲是个虔诚的基督教徒。
2 Christians 28e6e30f94480962cc721493f76ca6c6     
n.基督教徒( Christian的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Christians of all denominations attended the conference. 基督教所有教派的人都出席了这次会议。
  • His novel about Jesus caused a furore among Christians. 他关于耶稣的小说激起了基督教徒的公愤。
3 kindly tpUzhQ     
adj.和蔼的,温和的,爽快的;adv.温和地,亲切地
参考例句:
  • Her neighbours spoke of her as kindly and hospitable.她的邻居都说她和蔼可亲、热情好客。
  • A shadow passed over the kindly face of the old woman.一道阴影掠过老太太慈祥的面孔。
4 belly QyKzLi     
n.肚子,腹部;(像肚子一样)鼓起的部分,膛
参考例句:
  • The boss has a large belly.老板大腹便便。
  • His eyes are bigger than his belly.他眼馋肚饱。
5 ornaments 2bf24c2bab75a8ff45e650a1e4388dec     
n.装饰( ornament的名词复数 );点缀;装饰品;首饰v.装饰,点缀,美化( ornament的第三人称单数 )
参考例句:
  • The shelves were chock-a-block with ornaments. 架子上堆满了装饰品。
  • Playing the piano sets up resonance in those glass ornaments. 一弹钢琴那些玻璃饰物就会产生共振。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 retired Njhzyv     
adj.隐退的,退休的,退役的
参考例句:
  • The old man retired to the country for rest.这位老人下乡休息去了。
  • Many retired people take up gardening as a hobby.许多退休的人都以从事园艺为嗜好。
7 choruses 62cd1da117eb72ece53dcf2ea6b7a630     
n.合唱( chorus的名词复数 );齐声;合唱曲;(歌曲的)副歌v.合唱,齐声背诵,异口同声地说( chorus的第三人称单数 )
参考例句:
  • When she went out the sparrows were twittering merrily in joyous choruses. 她出门时,大群的麻雀在叽叽喳喳地欢唱。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
  • Out on the water flickering lights and soft-voiced choruses marked the fishers returning from the reef. 远远的水面上,灯光摇曳,轻歌荡漾,说明渔人正在收帆夜归。 来自辞典例句
8 choir sX0z5     
n.唱诗班,唱诗班的席位,合唱团,舞蹈团;v.合唱
参考例句:
  • The choir sang the words out with great vigor.合唱团以极大的热情唱出了歌词。
  • The church choir is singing tonight.今晚教堂歌唱队要唱诗。
9 fascinated YtKzID     
a.被强烈地吸引住,感到着迷的
参考例句:
  • China has always fascinated me. 中国一直令我心驰神往。
  • The children watched, fascinated, as the picture began to appear. 电影开始以后孩子们入迷地观看着。
10 feast tkixp     
n.盛宴,筵席,节日
参考例句:
  • After the feast she spent a week dieting to salve her conscience.大吃了一顿之后,她花了一周时间节食以安慰自己。
  • You shouldn't have troubled yourself to prepare such a feast!你不该准备这样丰盛的饭菜,这样太麻烦你了!
11 lighting CpszPL     
n.照明,光线的明暗,舞台灯光
参考例句:
  • The gas lamp gradually lost ground to electric lighting.煤气灯逐渐为电灯所代替。
  • The lighting in that restaurant is soft and romantic.那个餐馆照明柔和而且浪漫。
12 orchestra 90OyN     
n.管弦乐队;vt.命令,定购
参考例句:
  • He plays the violin in an orchestra.他在管弦乐队中演奏小提琴。
  • I was tempted to stay and hear this superb orchestra rehearse.我真想留下来听这支高超的管弦乐队排练。
13 weaver LgWwd     
n.织布工;编织者
参考例句:
  • She was a fast weaver and the cloth was very good.她织布织得很快,而且布的质量很好。
  • The eager weaver did not notice my confusion.热心的纺织工人没有注意到我的狼狈相。
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