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VOA慢速英语--How Will You 'Ring in the New Year?'

时间:2017-12-31 23:38来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]


Hello and welcome to the VOA Learning1 English program Words and Their Stories.

Everyone around the world celebrates the New Year differently and at different times. Most people in the U.S. celebrate it on January 1. But they may also observe New Year traditions from other religions or cultures.

For example, many Asian cultures celebrate the Lunar New Year. This date changes from year to year. The date of the Islamic New Year also changes from year to year. And in India, each religious group has its own date for the beginning of the year. For example, the Hindu New Year comes in April or May.

No matter when you celebrate the New Year, it usually involves thinking about the past year and planning for the year ahead.

People have many different ways of ringing out the old and ringing in the new. But why are bells linked to the calendar change?

In the Christian2 and Buddhist3 religions, bells are often connected with the New Year. The website CatholicCulture.org explains that "bells serve as a beautiful symbol introducing a new year to be spent together as a community of families ..."

Another website describes how bells are used in Japan on New Year's Eve. "As midnight approaches, Buddhist temples around the country begin ringing out the old year, sounding the temple bell 108 times." Each ring of the bell stands for each of the earthly desires a Buddhist must try to overcome -- all 108 of them!

Even those who aren't religious but are a little superstitious4, may ring bells at the stroke5 of midnight on New Year's Eve to scare off bad luck.

These age-old traditions have given us the phrase "to ring out the old and ring in the new."

The English poet Alfred Lord6 Tennyson (1809-1892) made the phrase popular with his poem “In Memoriam [Ring Out, Wild Bells].” In this poem, Tennyson rings out, or says farewell to, the bad, and he rings in, or says hello, to the good.

Tennyson wrote this poem for Arthur Henry Hallam. The two students met at Cambridge University and quickly became best friends, both showing great promise as writers. Hallam helped Tennyson publish volumes of his poetry in 1830 and 1832.

The friends almost became family when Hallam became engaged to the poet’s sister, Emily. However, before they could wed7, Hallam died of a brain hemorrhage. He was only twenty-two years old.

To remember his good friend, Tennyson wrote the poem “In Memoriam.” He also named one of his two sons Hallam.

Here is Jonathan Evans reading the first part of that poem.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light:

The year is dying8 in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief9 that saps the mind

For those that here we see no more;

Ring out the feud10 of rich and poor,

Ring in redress11 to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,

And ancient forms of party strife12;

Ring in the nobler modes14 of life,

With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Thanks, Jonathan. And thank you, our listeners, for the time you have spent reading and listening to Words and Their Stories these past twelve months.

We here at VOA Learning English wish all of you a happy start to the New Year.

For the New Year, what do you plan to ring out and what do you plan to ring in? Also in the coming New Year, what words, expressions or phrases would you like to learn more about? Let us know in the Comments Sections.

I'm Anna Matteo.

All of those who are hither and yonder

With love in our hearts

We grow fonder and fonder

Hail15 to those who we hold so dear

And hail to those who are gathered here

And a happy new year to all that is living

To all that is gentle, young, and forgiving

Raise your glass and we'll have a cheer

My dear acquaintance16, a happy new year

Happy new year

Words in This Story

desire – n. the feeling of wanting something

superstitious – adj. of, relating to, or influenced by superstition17

superstition – n. a belief or way of behaving that is based on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck : a belief that certain events or things will bring good or bad luck

stroke – n. the sound of a bell being struck (The bell rung at the stroke of twelve.)

hemorrhage – n. a condition in which a person bleeds too much and cannot stop the flow of blood

frosty – adj. cold enough to produce frost

sap – v. to use up the supply of (something, such as a person's courage, energy, strength, etc.)

feud – n. a long and angry fight or quarrel between two people or two groups

redress – v. to correct (something that is unfair or wrong)

noble – adj. having, showing, or coming from personal qualities that people admire (such as honesty, generosity18, courage, etc.)

mode13 – n. a particular form or type of something (such as transportation or behavior)

manner – n. behavior while with other people


1 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。
2 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。
3 Buddhist USLy6     
  • The old lady fell down in adoration before Buddhist images.那老太太在佛像面前顶礼膜拜。
  • In the eye of the Buddhist,every worldly affair is vain.在佛教徒的眼里,人世上一切事情都是空的。
4 superstitious BHEzf     
  • They aim to deliver the people who are in bondage to superstitious belief.他们的目的在于解脱那些受迷信束缚的人。
  • These superstitious practices should be abolished as soon as possible.这些迷信做法应尽早取消。
5 stroke ZtJw8     
n.笔画,击打,连续的动作,中风,心跳;vt.奉承,轻抚; vi.击打,心跳...
  • He drove in a nail with one stroke of the hammer.他一锤就把钉子敲进去了。
  • He broke the lock with one stroke of the hammer.他一锤就把锁砸坏了。
6 lord t0NxW     
  • I know the Lord will look after him.我知道上帝会眷顾他的。
  • How good of the Lord not to level it beyond repair!上帝多么仁慈啊,竟没有让这所房子损毁得不可收拾!
7 wed MgFwc     
  • The couple eventually wed after three year engagement.这对夫妇在订婚三年后终于结婚了。
  • The prince was very determined to wed one of the king's daughters.王子下定决心要娶国王的其中一位女儿。
8 dying 1rGx0     
  • He was put in charge of the group by the dying leader.他被临终的领导人任命为集团负责人。
  • She was shown into a small room,where there was a dying man.她被领进了一间小屋子,那里有一个垂死的人。
9 grief DfHxP     
  • Don't allow yourself to sink into grief,it can do no good.不要使自己陷入悲哀之中,这样一点好处也没有。
  • After her mother died,she abandoned herself to grief.母亲死后,她沉浸于悲痛之中。
10 feud UgMzr     
  • How did he start his feud with his neighbor?他是怎样和邻居开始争吵起来的?
  • The two tribes were long at feud with each other.这两个部族长期不和。
11 redress PAOzS     
  • He did all that he possibly could to redress the wrongs.他尽了一切努力革除弊端。
  • Any man deserves redress if he has been injured unfairly.任何人若蒙受不公平的损害都应获得赔偿。
12 strife NrdyZ     
  • We do not intend to be drawn into the internal strife.我们不想卷入内乱之中。
  • Money is a major cause of strife in many marriages.金钱是造成很多婚姻不和的一个主要原因。
13 mode d6fzs     
  • Wearing jeans is out of mode at present.现在穿牛仔裤过时了。
  • His mode of doing business is offensive to me.他干事情的方式叫我很不喜欢。
14 modes 0f217972ba4782e962e2a3eaeefffe9c     
n.方式( mode的名词复数 );(设备的)模式;样式;(衣着、艺术等的)形式
  • Lasers can excite specific modes of the reactants. 而用激光则能够激发反应物的某些特定的运动模式。 来自英汉非文学 - 科技
  • These tools are really different modes of behavior that the product enters. 这些工具属于产品进入的不同的行为模式,提供工具是对复杂性的妥协。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
15 hail LQ4z0     
  • Hail fell with such violence that it broke windows.冰雹猛落,把玻璃窗也砸破了。
  • The people lined the streets to hail the returning heroes.人们夹道欢迎凯旋的英雄们。
16 acquaintance Fy8zI     
  • When did you make the acquaintance of his brother?你是什么时候认识他兄弟的?
  • I have only a nodding acquaintance with him.我和他只有点头之交。
17 superstition VHbzg     
  • It's a common superstition that black cats are unlucky.认为黑猫不吉祥是一种很普遍的迷信。
  • Superstition results from ignorance.迷信产生于无知。
18 generosity Jf8zS     
  • We should match their generosity with our own.我们应该像他们一样慷慨大方。
  • We adore them for their generosity.我们钦佩他们的慷慨。
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