Festivals and celebrations Festivals and celebrations of all kinds have been held everywhere since ancient times. Most ancient festivals would celebrate the end of cold weather, planting in s
pring and harvest in autumn. Sometimes celebrate would be held after hunters had caught animals. At that time people would starve if food was difficult to find, especially during the cold winter months. Today’s festivals have many origins ,some religious, some seasonal, and some for special people or events. Festivals of the Dead Some festivals are held to honour the dead or to satisfy the ancestors, who might return either to help or to do harm. For the Japanese festival. Obon, people should go to clean graves and light incense in memory of their ancestors. They also light lamps and play music because they think that this will lead the ancestors back to earth. In Mexico, people celebrate the Day of the Dead in early November. On this important feast day, people eat food in the shape of skulls and cakes with “bones” on them. They offer food, flowers and gifts to the dead. The Western holiday Halloween also had its origin in old beliefs about the return of the spirits of dead people. It is now a children’s festival, when they can dress up and to their neighbours’ homes to ask for sweets. If the neighbours do not give any sweets, the children might play a trick on them. Festivals to Honour People Festivals can also be held to honour famous people. The Dragon Boat Festival in China honours the famous ancient poet, Qu Yuan. In the USA Columbus Day is in memory of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in New World. India has a national festival on October 2 to honour Mohandas Gandhi, the leader who helped gain India’s independence from Britain. Harvest Festivals Harvest and Thanksgiving festivals can be very happy events. People are grateful because their food is gathered for the winter and the agricultural work is over. In European countries, people will usually decorate churches and town halls with flowers and fruit, and will get together to have meals. Some people might win awards for their farm produce, like the biggest watermelon or the most handsome rooster. China and Japan have mid-autumn festivals, when people admire the moon and in China, enjoy mooncakes. Spring Festivals The most energetic and important festivals are the ones that look forward to the end of winter
and to the coming of spring. At the Spring Festival in China, people eat dumplings, fish and meat and may give children lucky money in red paper. There are dragon dances and carnivals, and families celebrate the Lunar New Year together. Some Western countries have very exciting carnivals, which take place forty days before Easter, usually in February. These carnivals might include parades, dancing in the streets day and night, loud music and colourful clothing of all kinds. Easter is an important religious and social festival for Christians around the world. It celebrates the return of Jesus from the dead and the coming of spring and new life. Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festival happens a little later. The country, covered with cherry tree flowers, looks as thought it is covered with pink snow. People love to get together to eat, drink and have fun with each other. Festivals let us enjoy life, be proud of our customs and forget our work for a little while.
自古以来， 世界各地就有各种各样的节目和庆典。 大多数古老的节日总是庆祝严寒的结束， 春季的种植和秋天的收割。有时，在猎人捕获猎物后，也举行庆祝活动。在那个时代，如果 食物难以找到，特别是在寒冷的冬月，人们就会挨饿，现在的节日有很多由来，一些是宗教 上的，一些是季节性的，一些是纪念特殊的人和事件的。 亡灵节 有些节目是为了纪念死者，或使祖先得到满足，因为祖先们有可能回到世上（给人们）提 供帮助，也有可能带来危害。在日本盂兰盆节，人们要扫墓、烧香，以缅怀祖先。人们还点 起灯笼， 奏响乐曲， 因为他们一位这样做可以把祖先引到世上。 在墨西哥， 亡灵节是在月初。 在这个重要的节日里，人们会吃制成颅骨形状的食物，和装点有“骨头”的蛋糕。他们向亡 者祭献食物、鲜花和礼品。西方的万圣节也源自人们古老的信念，以为亡者的灵魂会返回人 间。万圣节如今成了孩子们的节目，这天他们可以乔装打扮上邻居家要糖吃。如果邻居什么 糖也不给，那么孩子们就可以捉弄他们了。 纪念名人的节目 也有纪念名人的节目。中国的端午节（龙舟节） ，是纪念古代著名诗人屈原的。美国的哥 伦布日是纪念克里托斯．哥伦布发现“新大陆”的日子。印度在 10 月 2 日有个全国性的节 目，纪念莫汉达斯．甘地，他是帮助印度脱离英国而独立的领袖。 庆丰收的节日 收获与感恩节是非常喜庆的节目。 越冬的粮食收集起来了， 农活结束了， 人们都心怀感激。 在欧洲国家，人们通常用花果来装饰教堂和市政厅，在一起聚餐。有些人还可能因为他们的 农产品（参加各种评选）而获奖，比如最大的西瓜或最帅的公鸡。中国和日本都有中秋节， 这时，人们会赏月。在中国，人们还品尝月饼。 春节 最富生气的而又最重要的节日， 就是告别冬天， 迎来春天的日子。 中国人过春节要吃饺子、
鱼和肉，还要给孩子们送红纸包着的压岁钱。 （他们）舞龙灯、狂欢，全家人聚在一起欢庆 阴历年。在一些西方国家有激动人心的狂欢节，通常在二月，复活节前的四十天。狂欢节期 间，人们身着各种艳丽的节日盛装，伴随着鼓噪的音乐，在街头游行，昼夜跳舞。复活节是 全世界基督教徒的一个重要的宗教和公众节日。 它庆祝耶稣复活， 也庆祝春天和新生命的到 来。在晚些时候，日本就迎来了樱花节， （节日里）整个国度到处是盛开的樱花，看上去就 像是覆盖了一层粉红色的雪。 人们喜欢聚在一起吃、喝、玩耍。节日让我们享受生活，让我们为自己的习俗而自豪，还 可以暂时忘掉工作中的烦恼。
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