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VOA慢速英语2013 圣诞节的新旧传统

时间:2013-12-28 11:52来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]


AS IT IS 2013-12-25 Christmas Traditions Old and New 圣诞节的新旧传统

Hello and welcome to As It Is from VOA Learning2 English.

I'm Mario Ritter. People around the world are celebrating Christmas day. Christians3 mark the birth of Jesus Christ1 on this holiday. There are many traditions  surrounding Christmas, both ancient and modern. First, we hear about Christmas in two very different places: Middleburg, a small town in the state of Virginia and  Xitan, China, which has come to be known as “Christmas village.”  Christmas in Middleburg, VirginiaChristmas in the United States is traditionally a time of gift- giving and family gatherings4.  But there are also performances, trees with lights and, of course, Santa Clause5, the big man in a red suit. Small towns across the  country have their own traditions.  June Simms has this report by VOA’s Arash Arabasadi about a town in Virginia.

Middleburg is a town in an area known for its horses. Visitors can see horses pulling carriages with bells as people sing traditional Christmas songs.

“On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”

For more than 50 years, Middleburg has organized a yearly6 Christmas parade. Hunting on horseback is another tradition.  Men and women ride horses through the woods and  fields. They follow hunting dogs as they search for a wild fox.  But first, these hunters ride in the yearly parade, wearing their bright red hunting clothes and hats.

“Before we strike off here, I want to thank all of you for being here, and wish you all a very, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Middleburg Hunt.”

John Hale of Middleburg says many city people visit his town.

“We have a lot of people from an urban area that come visit, but it incorporates7 a lot of the old traditions.”

The nighttime hay8 ride is one such tradition. Small groups gather under the moonlight on an open wagon9 filled with hay. The passengers sing as farm horses pull the  wagon slowly across the fields. There are some newer traditions, too.  Like motorcycle events and even Mexican cowboys.

Trey Matheu works10 at the nearby Salamander Resort11 & Spa. He says a visit to Middleburg is a chance to slow down for a day.

“We live in a very fast-paced world.  Middleburg is a little bit different.”

He says Middleburg can be a calming, peaceful place without tension12.

“Middleburg is an opportunity to take a step back, to take a deep breath, and understand that even though life is moving on at a very fast pace, there’s really an  opportunity … where you’re allowed to step off for a little bit.”

Parade organizers say more than 13,000 people attend even in below-freezing weather. But if you ask, you will hear many different reasons why people come to watch the  parade.

“I come here because I’m from a small town.  I like how everybody comes together.”

“I live right down that street; right there.  And that’s my dog.”

Dogs are not the only ones getting special treatment on this day.  Horses do, too. At the Salamander Resort Sheryl Jordan carefully prepares horses for the parade.

“They got baths this morning.  They got their long, shaggy hair trimmed13 off of their face, because certainly before we take our babies out into the public eye we want  them looking their best.”

Middleburg looks its best at Christmastime. That may be why so many people return each year.

I’m June SimmsXitan: China's Christmas VillageChristmas is a major event worldwide.  In China, for example, there is a “Christmas Village,” with many signs of the  holiday.  This year, however, there is no public celebration of the holiday.

The village of Xitan, in Zhejiang province, has no snow.  It looks far different than the colder, snow-covered lands of Northern Europe and North America.

But last year, the village shipped around $100 million in colorful ornaments14 and decorations to places as far away as Europe, the United States and Brazil.

Wang Lianming is the head of one of Xitan's earliest Christmas decoration companies, Ruian D-Bright Arts and Crafts15.  He is also the local Communist Party chief.  He  says that although overseas buyers are still the village’s main customers, that is changing.

He says that Christmas was once a completely foreign holiday.  But, in recent years, he says, celebrations of Christmas have grown and so has sales of ornaments.

Before D-Bright started producing hand-made Christmas ornaments, they made Disco Balls.  They still do.  Like many other factories here, the company is expanding to  make products for other Western holidays, even Halloween.

In Xitan, there are 40 larger factories and about 200 smaller workshops.  Some employees travel from far away to work in the village.

Xitan is home to a large number of Christians.  But some people there say that it is their skills with arts and crafts, not their religious beliefs, which have made  ornaments such an important industry.

Christmas has been celebrated16 more openly in the past.  In a Youtube video from 2011, police broke up one holiday event when some people said it had turned too  religious in nature.  Local Christians say officials cancelled an approved event.

Village Communist Party Chief Wang Lianming says the celebration was stopped because of religious issues.  He adds that it is not right to turn a cultural event into a  religious one.

The event was meant to be a celebration of how Xitan became well-known, says Wang, and its ability to create and find business opportunities.

Thanks to VOA’s Bill Ide for this report.

And that’s our program for today. Everyday on As It Is, we report on issues that we believe are of interest to you. You can tell us what you want to hear on a future  show. You can also go to our website LearningEnglish.voanews.com and click on “Contact Us.”

While you are there you can read, listen to and download our programs. You will also find podcasts, captioned17 videos and lessons to test your English skills.

You can follow us on Facebook, Linkedin, iTunes, Twitter and on our YouTube Chanel, all at VOA Learning English. And don’t forget to listen to VOA World News at the  beginning of every hour Universal Time. Thank you for spending some of your time with us today.


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 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。
4 gatherings 400b026348cc2270e0046708acff2352     
聚集( gathering的名词复数 ); 收集; 采集; 搜集
  • His conduct at social gatherings created a lot of comment. 他在社交聚会上的表现引起许多闲话。
  • During one of these gatherings a pupil caught stealing. 有一次,其中一名弟子偷窃被抓住。
5 clause QVuyO     
  • The sentence consists of a main clause and a subordinate clause.这句中有一个主句和一个从句。
  • What clause do you require in the contract?你要求在合同中订上什么条款?
6 yearly 0fxwM     
  • The flower show is a yearly event in our town.我们镇上的花展一年举行一次。
  • The yearly rental of her house is 2400 yuan.她这房子年租金是2400元。
7 incorporates 28390b0f8e37c0014974a5fffe3be26d     
组成公司( incorporate的第三人称单数 ); 包含; 使混合; 使具体化
  • The shopping centre also incorporates a library and a bank. 商业中心还包括一家银行和一家图书馆。
  • The factory incorporates with others. 这家工厂与别家合并了。
8 hay WeVxZ     
  • Cows feed on hay.奶牛以干草为生。
  • They usually keep the hay in the barn.他们通常将干草存放在谷仓中。
9 wagon XhUwP     
  • We have to fork the hay into the wagon.我们得把干草用叉子挑进马车里去。
  • The muddy road bemired the wagon.马车陷入了泥泞的道路。
10 works ieuzIh     
  • We expect writers to produce more and better works.我们期望作家们写出更多更好的作品。
  • The novel is regarded as one of the classic works.这篇小说被公认为是最优秀的作品之一。
11 resort yWrxe     
  • He couldn't have passed the exam without resort to cheating.他要不是靠作弊是通不过这次考试的。
  • Beidaihe is noted for its summer resort.北戴河以避暑胜地而著称。
12 tension zpUw6     
  • I could feel the tension in the room. 我可以感觉到房间里的紧张气氛。
  • Relaxaion is better than tension. 缓和比紧张好。
13 trimmed 853600aa75baac4ae4d3b794b574ecec     
adj.平衡的,纵倾的v.整理( trim的过去式和过去分词 );修剪;装饰;减少
  • The general's uniform was trimmed with gold braid. 将军的制服饰有金色穗带。
  • She wore a white satin gown trimmed with lace. 她穿着一条饰有蕾丝花边的白色缎子长裙。 来自《简明英汉词典》
14 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》
15 crafts 841d8ef1086cb094f9218af74d10490f     
n.工艺( craft的名词复数 );行业;飞机;飞行器
  • traditional crafts like basket-weaving 像编篮子之类的传统工艺
  • an arts and crafts emporium 工艺品商店
16 celebrated iwLzpz     
  • He was soon one of the most celebrated young painters in England.不久他就成了英格兰最负盛名的年轻画家之一。
  • The celebrated violinist was mobbed by the audience.观众团团围住了这位著名的小提琴演奏家。
17 captioned 923397b226bd6b0cebec65c75df23f09     
a.标题项下的; 标题所说的
  • This paper reviews the production, development and nationalization of the captioned materials. 本文就铜系合金引线框架材料的生产、发展和国产化进程作一论述。
  • Please advise other considerable hotels for this captioned group. 请推荐其它一些高级的旅馆给这一群打标语的人。
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