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Origin and customs of Chinese Longtaitou Festival

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Longtaitou Festival is a traditional Chinese festival held on the second day of the second month of the Chinese calendar.

每年农历的二月初二是中国的传统节日——龙抬头。

The name literally translates to "Dragon Raises Head Day". In the tradition of Chinese culture, the dragon is believed to be the king of all creatures and the ancestor for human being. It is also regarded as the deity in charge of rain, an important factor in ancient agriculture.

龙抬头如果按照字面意思直译成英语就是"Dragon Raises Head Day"。在中国的传统文化中,龙被信奉为万物之王、人类的始祖。另外龙也被认作是古代农业文化的重要元素之一——掌管降雨之神。

Today, it's a little less agriculturally-inclined, and ways to celebrate in style include eating pancakes and noodles, and, believe it or not, getting a haircut or an entirely new hairstyle.

如今,龙抬头不再像过去那样和农业息息相关。现在流行的庆祝方式包括吃春饼、吃面条;另外,信不信由你,还可以去理个发或是换个新发型。

In ancient times, people burned incense to chase odors from the home, ensuring spring arrived fragrant and fresh and full of good fortune. Sewing was forbidden, as the needles might bring bad luck by piercing the dragon's eye. Spreading plant ashes around jugs was also common, as that would urge the dragon to fill them with rainwater.

古时候,人们会在龙抬头熏香以驱赶家里的味道,以确保春天到来后,家里有着新鲜芳香的空气以及满满的好运。缝纫是被禁止的,因为缝针可能会刺到龙的眼睛从而带来坏运。另一种常见的习俗是把草木灰洒在水缸旁边,因为人们认为这样可以引龙来布施雨水将其灌满(撒灰引龙)。

So start making pancakes, and book that hair appointment today – you'll want to make sure you're ready for Long Tai Tou!

所以说,大家开始制作春饼吧,再预约理个发,证明你已经准备好迎接“龙抬头”的到来!

2016-06-24

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