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Why is monkey considered auspicious in Chinese culture?

chinese culture, year of the monkey

The Year of the Monkey has come to us. Why do so many Chinese want to have babies in this year? Can monkeys do kung fu? Here are six facts about the monkey in the Chinese culture

猴年已经到来。为什么很多人想要在今年生宝宝?猴子究竟会不会功夫?本文将为您介绍中国文化中关于猴子的六个真相。

CHINESE ZODIAC 中国的生肖

The Chinese zodiac comprises 12 animals – mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig – all fixed in that order on a 12-year cycle, and each related to one of 12 Terrestrial Branches. Ranked the ninth, the monkey is related to Shen Terrestrial Branch, and seen as a symbol of vitality and wit.

中国的生肖由12种动物组成-鼠、牛、虎、兔、龙、蛇、马、羊、猴、鸡、狗和猪-按照12年一个轮回依次排序,每一种小动物都和12地支之一相联系。猴子排名第九,和地支中的“申”相联系,因此被认为是活力和智慧的象征。

The Year of the Monkey follows the current Year of the Sheep, an animal many consider passive and docile. The monkey is more favored by prospective parents, because many believe babies born in the Year of the Monkey will be energetic, self-assured, sociable, smart and innovative.

猴年紧跟着羊年到来,羊被认为是一种温顺低调的动物。很多望子成龙的父母更偏爱在猴年生宝宝,因为他们觉得猴年出生的宝宝会精力充沛、自信满满、善于交际、聪明伶俐并且富于创造力。

MONKEY KING 美猴王

The most famous monkey in the Chinese culture, the Monkey King features in the classic Chinese legend Journey to the West. He had many supernatural powers and was responsible for protecting a well-known pilgrim in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) on a journey to retrieve the Buddhist sutras from India.

中国文化中最有名的猴子要数经典名著《西游记》里的美猴王。他法力神通,负责保护中国唐朝(618-907)一位著名的去印度取经的和尚(唐僧)。

The Monkey King stands for bravery, sincerity and the power to fight evil. In Fujian Province, he is worshipped as a guardian of families.

美猴王代表着勇敢、真诚以及驱褪邪恶的力量。在福建省,人们把他当作家庭守护神顶礼膜拜。

The Monkey King is also the hero of many traditional operas, movies and TV series. One series on Journey to the West has been broadcast more than 3,000 times by various TV stations since 1986.

美猴王同时也是很多戏曲、电影和电视剧里的英雄人物。其中电视剧《西游记》从1986年起被各大电视台播放了3000多次。

EXPENSIVE STAMP 珍贵的邮票

A stamp issued in 1980, the Year of the Monkey, is now priced at 12,000 yuan (about $1,800) each, but the face value printed is only 8 cents (about 1 US cent). It is one of the most prized stamps among collectors.

1980年猴年年发售的邮票现在每张售价达12000元人民币(1800美元),但是票面价值仅为8分钱(约1美分)。这是集邮爱好者们认为最珍贵的邮票之一。

Many other countries also have issued stamps to celebrate the new year. This year, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Japan, France and Canada are among those issuing their own monkey stamps.

其他国家也纷纷发行邮票来庆祝新年。今年,韩国、日本、法国和加拿大即发行了他们自己的猴年邮票。

KUNG FU 功夫

Made familiar in the monkey master in Kung Fu Panda, the monkey is an important symbol in the world of Chinese martial arts. The school of Monkey Boxing derives from the gestures of monkeys. The moves are agile and swift, with some of them even imitating the monkey in real life.

猴子大师在电影《功夫熊猫》里为人所熟知,猴子在中国武术世界中是一个重要象征。猴拳即起源于猴子的姿势,动作敏捷轻快,其中有些动作甚至模仿了现实生活中的猴子。

SYMBOL OF HIGH POSITION 位高权重的象征

The Chinese character for monkey is very similar to that for powerful men or high positions, and they are both pronounced "hou." So in the Chinese culture they are closely connected, as the monkey was considered an auspicious symbol for high social status, such as government officials or royalty.

汉字“猴”与“候”(位高权重的人)非常相似,且都读作“hóu”,因而在中国文化中二者紧密相连,因为猴子被认为是身份很高的吉祥的象征,如宫廷政府官员等。

In Chinese pinyin, "a monkey on a horse" is similar to "be promoted to a higher position immediately". Such combinations can often be found in folk arts, such as sculptures, paper-cuts and paintings.

在中国的拼音中,“马上封猴”和“马上封侯”(意味着马上高升)非常相似,这样的组合在一些民间艺术如雕塑、剪纸和绘画中经常可以见到。

MASCOT FOR GOOD HEALTH 身体健康的吉祥物

The monkey is considered a symbol of health and longevity, as many kinds of monkeys have white beards like old men.

猴子被认为是健康和长寿的象征,因为很多小猴宝宝会像人类的老年人一样,长白胡子。

In ancient China, people also believed that monkeys were sensitive to the plague. Traders and merchants often traveled with a monkey to protect their horses from diseases.

在中国古代,人们还相信猴子对瘟疫非常敏感,因而很多商人会带着猴子一起出门,以保护他们的马匹不受疾病侵扰。

2016-06-24

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