|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/01/13 17:14 英语辅导报|
Sweden is a land of contrasts(反差很大). In the north, where forests fade into frozen ground(森林逐渐消失为冰冻的土地), the influence of tradition and folklore is strong. In the milder(气候比较温和), more fertile(土壤更加肥沃) south, the customs(风俗) are basically those of continental Europe(欧洲大陆).
In Sweden, legends(传说) exist in people's everyday life. Hunting legends, for example, tell how men have been turned into beasts by magic. It is thought unlucky to see a hare in the morning but to meet a wolf or a bear is an omen that hunting will be good(人们认为一大早看到野兔是会倒霉的,但如果碰到狼或熊则是一个好兆头,因为它将预示着狩猎的顺利). And there are some ancient customs about birth. When a child is born, the women of the family must carry it three times(三圈) around its parents' hearth(壁炉) and then examine it for birthmarks(胎记). If child is covered in the membrane, that means it will always be accompanied by a guardian spirit(守护神). It is feared that children who lack the protection of a guardian spirit may be stolen by witches(女巫) and turned into disembodied spirits(变成游魂).
A country wedding(乡村婚礼) in Sweden is also very interesting. It is celebrated with traditional festivities. The bridegroom(新郎) must formally ask for the bride's hand(正式向新娘求婚) in the barn(谷仓), because this is where the dowry(嫁妆) is stored. On the wedding day the women of the family help the bride to dress in national costume(民族服装), which includes silver jewelry(银制的饰物) and a bridal crown(新娘花冠). Meanwhile friends and male relations(男性亲戚) wait in the kitchen, drinking beer. When the bride is ready(准备就绪), all the relatives(亲戚) and guests form a procession, which is led by young men on horseback. They meet the groom's procession(新郎一方的迎亲队伍) at the church and greetings, symbolizing the kinship which now unites the two families(象征着连接彼此的亲戚关系正式形成), are exchanged(互相祝贺). When the wedding service(仪式) ends, the guests go to the bride's house for the marriage feast(婚宴).
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