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TheInfluenceofWesternFestivalsonChineseSociety英语毕业论文 全文免费

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The Influence of Western Festivals on Chinese Society

姓名:李玲娜 班级:08级英语4班 指导教师:楚承华

1. Introduction

As China”s increasing opening to the world and there are more and more international communication in the world. One of the most popular international communications is cultural exchange. In the process, festival infiltrate in Chinese culture in a silent way. Festival is accepted cultural form; it is used to memorize a important historical hero or a historical event. Therefore festival culture is a historical culture with profound meaning.

More and more western festival attracts a lot of young people, particularly college students. So many western festivals are accepted by Chinese young people, such as Easter, Halloween, Valentine”s Day and Christmas Day.

Why so many festivals are so popular in China? This paper is designed to analyze the phenomenon and find out the reasons. In particular, analyzing the Chinese young people”s psychological factors. It is believed to be of great importance. Take Christmas as an example. Christmas is one of the most popular western festivals in China. In recent years, many kinds of celebration are held everywhere in China and the foreigners also get puzzled about the ways of Chinese people”s celebration.

As English majors, to learn western festival culture is important to the study of English. But to improve our culture awareness and language skills, we should know the western festival”s origin, connotation and influence so that we can work smoothly in the field of cross-cultural communication. Meanwhile we should also understand deeply not only about western festival culture, but also about Chinese traditional culture and festival culture.

This thesis explores the influence of western festivals on China. It aims at enhancing the cultural consciousness of Chinese young people and English majors.

The review of festival culture

Festival culture is a history culture. Festival is accepted cultural form, it is used to memorize a important historical hero or a historical event. Therefore festival culture is a historical culture with profound meaning.

Forming a traditional nation festival is a process that long term accumulation about the nation’s historical culture. The reasons for the origin of festival are related to the people’s life and it reflect people’s wonderful emotion world and place the hope and love on the life. There is some words said that each nation’s festival is real aspect of this nation. So that, in order to learn about the nation’s culture and profound meaning, we must start from their festival and festival culture, if we do this we can know the unordinary culture and the nation’s characteristics.

2.1 The western festival culture

Western culture is influenced by Christianity for a long time, so its festivals come out with strong religion color. Such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas, all of these festival is related to the religion—Christianity.

Valentine’s Day which is celebrated on Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. Some experts stated that Valentine’s Day originated from St. Valentine, a roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He was murdered and died on February 14,269 A

Easter is the festival which celebrated by Christianity to memory Jesus’ resurrected. But its date is flexible, generally in a Sunday between March 22 and April 25. People celebrate the holiday according to their beliefs and their religious denominations. Christians commemorate Good Friday as the day that Jesus Christ died and Easter Sunday as the day he was resurrected.

Halloween is celebrated all the saints of Christianity. Halloween”s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Sakhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints” Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints” Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls” Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints”, All Saints”, and All Souls”, were called Halloween.

2.1.1 Take Christmas as an example for western festival

Christmas is a big and important festival to western people; it is closely related to Christianity. The Christians celebrate it to memory the birth of Jesus Christ who was the founder of Christianity and all the Christians believe he was the savoir.

The history of Christmas dates back over 4000 years. Many of our Christmas traditions were celebrated centuries before the Christ child was born. The 12 days of Christmas, the bright fires, the yule log, the giving of gifts, carnivals (parades) with floats, carolers who sing while going from house to house, the holiday feasts, and the church processions can all be traced back to the early Mesopotamians.

Many of these traditions began with the Mesopotamian celebration of New Years. The Mesopotamians believed in many gods, and as their chief god – Marduk (the Sun God of Babylon). Each year as winter arrived it was believed that Marduk would do battle with the monsters of chaos. To assist Marduk in his struggle the Mesopotamians held a festival for the New Year. This was Zagmuk, the New Year”s festival that lasted for 12 days.

The Roman”s celebrated their god Saturn. Their festival was called Saturnalia which began the middle of December and ended January 1st. With cries of “Jo Saturnalia!” the celebration would include masquerades in the streets, big festive meals, visiting friends and the exchange of good-luck gifts called Strenae (lucky fruits). “Jo Saturnalia!” was a fun and festive time for the Romans, but the Christians though it an abomination to honor the pagan god. The early Christians wanted to keep the birthday of their Christ child a solemn and religious holiday, not one of cheer and merriment as was the pagan Saturnalia.

But as Christianity spread they were alarmed by the continuing celebration of pagan customs and Saturnalia among their converts. At first the Church forbid this kind of celebration. But it was to no avail. Eventually it was decided that the celebration would be tamed and made into a celebration fit for the Christian Son of God. Some legends claim that the Christian “Christmas” celebration was invented to compete against the pagan celebrations of December. The 25th was not only sacred to the Romans but also the Persians whose religion Mithraism was one of Christianity”s main rivals at that time. The Church eventually was successful in taking the merriment, lights, and gifts from the Saturanilia festival and bringing them to the celebration of Christmas

2.2 The Chinese traditional festival culture

China was a feudal and agricultural society and developing in a self-contained and self-sufficient natural economy, keeping this situation for a long time. So Chinese traditional festivals have strong agricultural color and include social characteristics of agriculture civilization. These festivals were transferred from season and year. In ancient China, for the Chinese people agriculture is the base of life, they were to place important on the influence of climate on crop. From the complex regular pattern of sowing in Spring, growing in Summer, harvesting in Autumn and collecting in Winter, people get a conclusion of the 24 solar terms and the 4 seasons, and forming the festivals focus on the 4 seasons and the 24 solar terms. Spring festival, Pure Brightness and Grain Rain and so on are the agricultural festivals.

2.2.1 Take Spring Festival as an example

Spring Festival and New Year are the first day of a year. But Chinese people take the Spring Festival as the most important festival, western people celebrate the New Year. Their celebration ways and time are different.

New Year”s Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome. With most countries using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar, New Year”s Day is the closest thing to being the world”s only truly global public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the New Year starts. January 1 on the Julian calendar corresponds to January 14 on the Gregorian calendar, and it is on that date that followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the New Year.

Spring Festival is on the traditional Chinese festivals, people used to call it “the Lunar New Year”. It is the most important festival in China; begin from Qing Dynasty and due to January 1st each year of the lunar calendar. Strictly speaking, the Spring Festival starts every year in the early days of the 12th lunar month and will last till the mid 1st lunar month of the next year. From December 23rd, people start to do many kinds of celebrations and last to Lantern Festival. Of them, the most important days are Spring Festival Eve and the first three days.

Many customs accompany the Spring Festival. Before the New Year comes, the people completely clean the indoors and outdoors of their homes On the 8th day of the 12th lunar month, many families make laba porridge, a delicious kind of porridge made with glutinous rice, millet, seeds of Job”s tears, jujube berries, lotus seeds, beans, longan and gingko. The 23rd day of the 12th lunar month is called Preliminary Eve. At this time, people offer sacrifice to the kitchen god. Now however, most families make delicious food to enjoy themselves. After the Preliminary Eve, people begin preparing for the coming New Year. This is called “Seeing the New Year in”. Store owners are busy then as everybody goes out to purchase necessities for the New Year. Materials not only include edible oil, rice, flour, chicken, duck, fish and meat, but also fruit, candies and kinds of nuts. Waking up on New Year, everybody dresses up. First they extend greetings to their parents. Then each child will get money as a New Year gift, wrapped up in red paper. People in northern China will eat jiaozi, or dumplings, for breakfast, as they think “jiaozi” in sound means “bidding farewell to the old and ushering in the new”. Also, the shape of the dumpling is like gold ingot from ancient China. So people eat them and wish for money and treasure. Southern Chinese eat niangao (New Year cake made of glutinous rice flour) on this occasion, because as a homophone, niangao means “higher and higher, one year after another.” The lively atmosphere not only fills every household, but permeates to streets and lanes. A series of activities such as lion dancing, dragon lantern dancing, lantern festivals and temple fairs will be held for days. The Spring Festival then comes to an end when the Lantern Festival is finished

2.3 Western festival culture infiltrate in Chinese society and Chinese traditional festivals are facing some big challenges

Cultural infiltration is one country’s culture infiltrate in the other countries in a cultural form. Festival culture is accepted culture form, now become one of the most typical cases of cultural infiltration. Any things will change for the time and space change, include culture, especially, when it infiltrate in other things, it will be change its origin nature.

As China’s reform and opening-up, Chinese people have more and more chances to touch the foreign culture and the foreign culture’s influences on Chinese society become stronger and stronger. Some western festivals become more and more popular; many Chinese people start to celebrate these western festivals more than to celebrate our home festivals.

Roses and chocolate make a romantic atmosphere of Valentine’s Day, Christmas father bring surprises to Chinese people, a lot of Chinese young people take part in celebrating these kinds of festivals with high emotion. Christmas in western country is celebrate to memorize the birth of Jesus, but in China, some people who are not Christians also go to the church to prey. Valentine’s Day’s symbol is that Cupid use his arrow insert the heart of young woman and man, this festival is used to memorize a Christian. When the Valentine’s Day coming, businessmen, merchants and lovers become crazy, but every year the Double Seventh festival of Chinese is more cold and cheerless than western Valentine’s Day. Double Seventh festival is the domestic “Lover’s Day”, it has long historical meaning and cultural profound meaning; however, its influences are less than western Valentines Day.

Not only that, Spring Festival which is the most important traditional festival is given in and leave a part of position for western festivals when facing the attack from them. In 2010, Chinese Spring Festival and western Valentine’s Day was celebrate in the same day. When many big markets start the promotion war of Spring Festival, at the same time, they also do the promotion war for Valentine’s Day. Many kinds of chocolate were put in the conspicuous position. In this fighting, Spring Festival leaves some space and time for Valentine’s Day. Chocolate become the leading role and roses become the landscape of that day. Spring Festival should be that all the families and relatives get together. But, Internet and newspaper write these words: “who will go and celebrate with you on Spring Festival?”Although Spring Festival still has an important position in people’s heart, from this situation we can learn that our traditional festivals are facing big attack, and reflect that traditional festivals are cold and cheerless. Some people laugh at that: “family is less important than sweetheart.” These situations reflect that traditional festivals’ influences on Chinese young people are decreasing.

Except the attack comes from western festivals, our traditional festivals still meet a big challenge from neighbor country—Korean. Korean is one of the first country do non material cultural heritage protection, Korean started to do the collection and clean up in 1960s. In November of 2005, Korean declares to United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, put the Jiangling Dragon Boat Festival as the non material cultural heritage. This act stirs up Chinese people’s nerves. Jiangling Dragon Boat Festival is afferent from Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, combine with their custom and culture.

Christmas in China

Christmas is one of the most popular western festivals in China. During twenty years, Christmas “walk” on the street, “walk” into all the big markets from church. Make billions of Chinese young people celebrate it as a big carnival. When Christmas is coming, all the streets, clubs and markets show the Christmas atmosphere, The main role is Santa Claus, and all kinds of Christmas trees, Christmas hats,Christmas stockings and Christmas cards. Red, green and white are the main color of that time. Many kinds of greeting messages are related to Christmas. All the markets do the promotion to appeal customers at this special time. In a word, everything reflects Christmas.

3.1 The festival culture of Christmas

The Christmas is the Christianity world greatest holiday. Celebrated on December 25th which is the birthday of Jesus? Christmas —this word is short of “Christ”s mass”,is that “ a dinner for Christ”. This ceremony begins with “The Last Supper” of New Testament of the Bible. The westerners take red, green, white tricolor as the Christmas color. What red are the Christmas flower and the Christmas candle. what green is the Christmas tree,what red and white intersection is Santa Claus, he is the HYPERLINK “/s/?wd=character” t “_blank” character who the Christmas day moves most receives welcome. In the West, act Santa Claus is also one kind of custom. The Christmas song mainly has three, one is “Christmas Eve”; one is “Listens, Angel Newspaper Good news”; third is “Bell Makes a sound Dingdong”. The foreign country”s Christmas day is equal to China”s Spring Festival is equally important.

Santa Claus—The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus” words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals — murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th (December 19 on the Julian Calendar).

Christmas tree—The tradition of having an evergreen tree become a symbol of Christmas goes back past recorded written history.

The Druids in ancient England & Gual and the Romans in Europe both used evergreen branches to decorate their homes and public buildings to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Over the years, these traditions were adopted by Christians, who incorporated them as part of their Christmas holiday celebration.

Trees used specifically to celebrate Christmas are mentioned in the early 1600″s in Germany and surrounding countries. The families would set up these trees in a prominent location of their home and decorate them with colored paper, small toys, food, and sometimes candles. As these people moved or immigrated to other countries, they brought this tradition with them.

Through the years many different things were used to decorate Christmas trees. As the world moved into the 1900″s, many trees were decorated with strings of popcorn, homemade cards and pictures, cotton to look like snow, candy in all shapes and sizes, and occasionally, fancy store made glass balls and hand blown glass figurines. Candles were sometimes used, but often caused devastating fires, and many different types of candleholders were devised to try to prevent tree fires. Electric tree lights were first used just 3 years after Thomas Edison has his first mass public demonstration of electric lights back in

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