跟鬼佬这么解释“中元节”

农历七月十五(中国南方为七月十四)的晚上是中元节,俗称鬼节、施孤、七月半,英语里简称“Ghost Festival”,如果生动一点的话,再加一个“饿”的英语在前面,叫做“ Hungry Ghost Festival”。这一天,又被佛教称为盂兰盆节(直接音译Yu Lan Jie)。

中元节(hungry ghost festival)

传说中元节当天阴曹地府将放出全部鬼魂,民间普遍进行祭祀鬼魂活动。凡有新丧的人家,例要上新坟,而一般在地方上都要祭孤魂野鬼,成为与除夕、清明节、重阳节三节并重的中国传统祭祖大节之一,也是流行于汉字文化圈诸国的传统文化节日。

中元节有放河灯、焚纸锭、烧街衣等等习俗。如果你有初到中国生活的外国朋友,为了避免把他吓到,可以用下面的这两段英语简单地介绍一下。

The Ghost Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival in modern day, Zhong Yuan Jie or Yu Lan Jie  is a traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival held in Asian countries. In the Chinese calendar (a lunisolar calendar), the Ghost Festival is on the 15th night of the seventh month (14th in southern China).

In Chinese culture, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm(下三界). Distinct from both the Qingming Festival (in spring) and Double Ninth Festival (in autumn) in which living descendants pay homage(敬意) to their deceased ancestors, during Ghost Festival, the deceased are believed to visit the living.

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