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红包在中国文化中的意义

Source: 恒星英语学习网    2021-02-17  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

2月12日,农历牛年第一天,《牛津英语词典》(Oxford English Dictionary)选的“每日一词”(Word of the day)是来自汉语的 hongbao(红包),非常应景。

那么红包在中国文化中到底有何讲究呢?我们通过下面这篇文章来了解一下。

The Significance of Red Envelopes in Chinese Culture
红包在中国文化中的意义

A red envelope (hóngbāo) is simply a long, narrow, red envelope. Traditional red envelopes are often decorated with gold Chinese characters, such as happiness and wealth. Variations include red envelopes with cartoon characters depicted and red envelopes from stores and companies that contain coupons and gift certificates inside.
红包只不过是一个又长又窄的红色信封。传统红包通常饰有金色的汉字,比如“福”字和“财”字。其他形式的红包有的上面印着卡通人物,有的是商店和公司派发,里面装着优惠券和礼品券。

How red envelopes are used
使用方法

During Chinese New Year, money is put inside red envelopes which are then handed out to younger generations by their parents, grandparents, relatives, and even close neighbors and friends.
春节期间,父母、祖父母、亲戚,甚至近邻和好友把钱装进红包发给小辈们。

At some companies, workers may also receive a year-end cash bonus tucked inside a red envelope. Red envelopes are also popular gifts for birthdays and weddings. Some four-character expressions appropriate for a wedding red envelope are 天作之合 (tiānzuò zhīhé, a marriage made in heaven) or 百年好合 (bǎinián hǎo hé, a happy union for 100 years).
在有些公司,员工还会收到装在红包里的现金年终奖。红包也是受欢迎的生日和结婚贺礼。适合婚礼红包的一些四字格表达有“天作之合”(上天成全的姻缘)或“百年好合”(两人一辈子情投意合)。

Unlike a Western greeting card, red envelopes given at Chinese New Year are typically left unsigned. For birthdays or weddings, a short message, typically a four-character expression, and signature are optional.
与西方的贺卡不同,中国新年发红包通常都不署名。生日或婚礼的红包上,可选择简短留言(一般写四字格祝福)并签名。

The color
颜色寓意

Red symbolizes luck and good fortune in Chinese culture. That is why red envelopes are used during Chinese New Year and other celebratory events. Other envelope colors are used for other types of occasions. For example, white envelopes are used for funerals.
红色在中国文化中象征着幸运和财富,这就是为什么在中国新年和其他庆祝活动中都会用到红包。还有其他颜色的信封用于别的场合。例如,白色信封用于葬礼。

How to give and receive
收发讲究

Giving and receiving red envelopes, gifts, and even business cards is a solemn act. Therefore, red envelopes, gifts, and name cards are always presented with both hands and also received with both hands.
收发红包、礼物甚至商务名片都是很庄重的行为。因此,红包、礼物和名片等,都要双手递接。

The recipient of a red envelope at Chinese New Year or on his or her birthday should not open it in front of the giver. At Chinese weddings, the procedure is different. At a Chinese wedding, there is a table at the entrance of the wedding reception where guests give their red envelopes to attendants and sign their names on a large scroll. The attendants will immediately open the envelope, count the money inside, and record it on a register next to the guests’ names.。
在春节或生日时,收到了红包不可当着送礼人的面拆开。中式婚礼则不然,在婚宴入口处摆有一张桌子,来客将红包交给接待人员并在一幅大大的卷轴上签名。接待员会立刻打开红包清点礼金,并在礼单簿上将金额记录在客人的姓名旁边。

A record is kept of how much each guest gives to the newlyweds. This is done for several reasons. One reason is bookkeeping. A record ensures the new-lyweds know how much each guest gave and can verify the amount of money they receive at the end of the wedding from the attendants is the same as what the guests brought. Another reason is that when unmarried guests eventually get married, the bride and groom are typically obliged to give the guest more money than what the newlyweds received at their wedding.
每位来宾给新婚夫妇多少份子钱都要做好记录。这样做有多种原因。一个原因是为了记账,确保新婚夫妇知道每位客人给了多少钱,并可核对他们在婚礼结束时从接待员那里收到的钱与客人礼金数额是否一致。另一个原因是,未婚客人将来结婚时,新婚夫妇送出的礼金通常得比今天人家给他们的多。

The amount
礼金数额

For employees at work, the year-end bonus is typically the equivalent of one month’s wage though the amount can vary from enough money to buy a small gift to more than one month’s wage.
对于在职雇员来说,年终奖通常相当于一个月的工资,但数额不尽相同,有的足够买一件小礼物,有的则多于一个月薪水

If you go to a wedding, the money in the red envelope should be equivalent to a nice gift that would be given at a Western wedding. Or, it should be enough money to cover the guest’s expense at the wedding. For example, if the wedding dinner costs the newlyweds US$35 per person, then the money in the envelope should be at least US$35.
要是你去参加婚礼,红包里的钱应该足够买西方婚礼上拿得出手的一份精美礼物,或者应该足以支付本人在婚礼上的消耗。例如,要是婚宴上的人均消费是35美元,那么红包里的钱至少也应该有35美元。

As with the Chinese New Year, the amount of money is relative to your relationship to the recipient—the closer your relationship is to the bride and groom, the more money is expected. For instance, immediate family like parents and siblings give more money than casual friends. It is not uncommon for business partners to be invited to weddings, and business partners often put more money in the envelope to strengthen the business relationship.
就像春节一样,给钱多少取决于送礼人和收礼人的关系——和新郎新娘之间的关系越近,礼金就应越多。比如,像父母和兄弟姐妹这样的近亲会比普通朋友给的钱要多。邀请生意伙伴参加婚礼也很常见,他们通常会在红包里放更多的钱以加强业务关系。

Less money is given for birthdays than other holidays because it is viewed as the least important of the three occasions. Nowadays, people often just bring gifts for birthdays.
与其他节日相比,过生日得到的礼金较少,因为过生日被视为三种场合中最不重要的。如今,给人庆祝生日一般只会带礼物。

What not to gift
注意禁忌

For all occasions, certain amounts of money are to be avoided. Anything with a four is best avoided because 四 (sì, four) sounds similar to 死 (sǐ, death). Even numbers, except four, are better than odd—as good things are believed to come in pairs. For example, gifting $20 is better than $21. Eight is a particularly auspicious number.
送钱时无论在什么情况下都应避免送出某些特定的数额,最好避免任何带“四”的数额,因为“四”(sì,四)听起来很像“死”(sǐ,死亡)。除了“四”之外,偶数总比奇数好——人们相信好事成双。比如,送20美元比送21美元好。“八”是一个特别吉利的数字。

The money inside a red envelope should always be new and crisp. Folding the money or giving dirty or wrinkled bills is in bad taste. Coins and checks are avoided, the former because change is not worth much and the latter because checks are not widely used in Asia.
装进红包里的钱总该是崭新挺括的。把钞票折叠,或拿脏兮兮、皱巴巴的钞票送人,都有伤大雅。硬币和支票莫要送人,前者是因为硬币不值几个钱,后者是因为支票在亚洲并未广泛使用。


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