英语 英语 日语 日语 韩语 韩语 法语 法语 德语 德语 西班牙语 西班牙语 意大利语 意大利语 阿拉伯语 阿拉伯语 葡萄牙语 葡萄牙语 越南语 越南语 俄语 俄语 芬兰语 芬兰语 泰语 泰语 泰语 丹麦语 泰语 对外汉语

VOA慢速英语2013 Christmas: The Most Wonderful Day of the Year? 圣诞节:今年最精彩的一天

时间:2013-12-23 14:33来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]


Christmas: The Most Wonderful Day of the Year? 圣诞节:今年最精彩的一天

Welcome to This Is America with VOA Learning2 English.  Barbara Klein and Steve Ember have our special holiday report. For millions of Americans, the most wonderful day of the year is December 25 -- 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. With all this, it is often said that Christmas has lost its meaning as the birthday of Jesus Christ1.  Some churches in the United States have cancelled Christmas Day  services, so people can spend the day with their families. These churches still offer Christmas Eve services, though.  And many Christians4 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."Most Americans identify themselves as Christian3, 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 disputes5 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 offending6 a stranger. 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 kindly7 old man with a big  belly 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.

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 honoring8 the true spirit of Christmas.

Christmastime centers on home and family. Once people bring home a Christmas tree, they may struggle with setting9 it up so it does not fall over.  But then they enjoy  decorating it with colorful lights and ornaments10. 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.

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 retired11 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.

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 choruses12 are often invited to sing songs of  the holiday season.   And, of course, caroling can be found in churches.  Listen as the choir13 of Trinity Church in Boston sings "Carol of the Bells."December is usually also the time of the ancient Jewish14 holiday of Hanukkah.  The eight-day Festival of Lights honors15 the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after  the Maccabees defeated King Atiochus of Syria. Most black Americans celebrate Christmas.  But after Christmas, from December 26 to January 1, 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 1960s, an important period in the modern civil  rights movement. 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 1891.  "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.

We leave you now with the Philadelphia Orchestra16 under Eugene Ormandy performing "The Waltz of the Flowers" from "The Nutcracker." 


1 Christ dVSyl     
  • I regarded him as the Christ.我把他当作救世主。
  • Christ preached that we should love each other.基督在布道中说人们应该互爱。
2 learning wpSzFe     
  • When you are learning to ride a bicycle,you often fall off.初学骑自行车时,常会从车上掉下来。
  • Learning languages isn't just a matter of remembering words.学习语言不仅仅是记些单词的事。
3 Christian KVByl     
  • 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。
4 Christians 28e6e30f94480962cc721493f76ca6c6     
n.基督教徒( Christian的名词复数 )
  • 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。
5 disputes 210d8463b56c915912d1cc878da4f522     
n.辩论( dispute的名词复数 );争端;(劳资)纠纷;罢工v.辩论,争论( dispute的第三人称单数 );争夺;阻止;就…进行辩论
  • a legalistic approach to family disputes 死抠法律条文解决家庭纠纷的方法
  • a party riven by internal disputes 由于内部分歧而四分五裂的政党
6 offending ymgzrT     
  • The offending paragraph was deleted. 令某些人不悦的那段话已经删除。
  • The petty clerk was afraid of offending his boss. 这个小职员不敢得罪他的老板。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
7 kindly tpUzhQ     
  • 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。
8 honoring 474c6b6c9212b0f0ec181c6771fe606e     
v.尊敬,给以荣誉( honor的现在分词 )
  • They sat in silence, honoring the clan Jordache for a moment. 他们默默地坐了一会儿,对乔达虚家族表示了一番敬意。 来自辞典例句
  • Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check. 美国没有履行这项神圣的义务,只是给黑人开了一张空头支票。 来自辞典例句
9 setting 7i5zmt     
  • The play has its setting in Vienna.该剧以维也纳为背景。
  • Where and when a story takes place is called the setting.故事发生的地点和时间称为故事背景。
10 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 )
  • 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》
11 retired Njhzyv     
  • 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。
12 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 )
  • 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
13 choir sX0z5     
  • 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。
14 Jewish tzEzJ     
  • The coin bears a Jewish symbol.硬币上有犹太标记。
  • They were two Jewish kids;I was friendly with both of them.他们是两个犹太小孩;我同他们都很要好。
15 honors 2c250cb8374a2f7f18ab42ccf1291801     
n.礼仪;荣典;礼节; 大学荣誉学位;大学优等成绩;尊敬( honor的名词复数 );敬意;荣誉;光荣
  • He aims at honors. 他力求名誉。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • We did the last honors to his remains. 我们向他的遗体告别。 来自《简明英汉词典》
16 orchestra 90OyN     
  • 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。
TAG标签:   VOA慢速英语
最新评论 查看所有评论
发表评论 查看所有评论