你在这里

Spring Festival Folk-Custom - Bai Nian (New-Year Visits) 春节民俗之拜年

拜年是中国民间的传统习俗,是人们辞旧迎新、相互表达美好祝愿的一种方式。通常是正月初一家长带领小辈出门谒见亲戚、朋友、尊长,以吉祥语向对方祝颂新年,卑幼者并须叩头致礼,谓之“拜年”。主人家则以点心、糖食、红包(压岁钱)热情款待之。

Bai Nian is a traditional Chinese custom, a practice for people to ring out the old year and ring in the new year, as well as to express good wishes for friends and family members. On the first day of the Chinese New Year, families taking with children visit relatives, friends or senior members of their extended family. They convey New Year greetings with auspicious words. The juniors must kowtow to senior relatives, called Bai Nian. The host families treat guests with snacks, sugars and red envelopes.

新年正月初一,人们早起后穿上崭新的衣服,放过“开门炮”便走亲访友,相互拜年,恭祝来年大吉大利。古代通常的“拜年”顺序是:先拜天地,次拜祖宗,再拜高堂,然后出门拜亲朋友好,亦有初一拜本家、初二拜岳家、初三拜亲戚等不同的讲究,一直拜到正月十五,这年才算拜完了。古时有拜年和贺年之分:拜年是向长辈叩岁,贺年则是平辈间相互道贺。在宋代,亲朋好友之间会相互送帖恭拜新年,这大概是早期的贺年片。至明代,贺年片设计更加精致,帖上不仅印有送者的姓名、地址,还写有“新年快乐”、“吉祥如意”之类的祝辞。

On the first day of the Chinese New Year, people wear new clothing. After setting off the first firecracker, they will visit relatives and convey New Year greetings. According to the tradition, the sequence of Bai Nian was firstly worshiping Heaven and Earth, then worshiping ancestors, and kowtowing to parents and then visiting relatives and friends. Also, there are also conventions on visiting different people on different days. For example, the married couple visits the husband’s family on the first day of the New Year and the wife’s family on the second day and relatives and friends successively. Bai Nian lasts until the 15th day of the first lunar month. In ancient times, Bai Nian and He Nian were different. Bai Nian was kowtowing to senior family members, while He Nian was conveying greetings among people in the same generation. In the Song Dynasty, people sent cards to greet New Year, which were the early version of New Year cards. In the Ming Dynasty, the New Year cards were more elaborately designed, written with the name of sender and address, as well as auspicious wishes such as happy New Year and good luck.

过年时晚辈给长辈拜年,长辈要将事先备好的“压岁钱”赐予晚辈,寓意“压岁祈福”。相传“压岁钱”能压住邪祟,因为“岁”与“祟”谐音,故又称“压祟钱”。晚辈得到“压岁钱”即可平安度过新岁。压岁钱可在晚辈拜年后当众赏给,亦可在除夕夜孩子睡着时,由家长偷偷地放在孩子的枕头底下。民间百姓将“压岁钱”放置孩子枕头下,正是为了“压祟”,期望在恶鬼妖魔或传说中的“年”去伤害孩子时,孩子可以用这些钱贿赂它们而化凶为吉。当然,这也是长辈们希望孩子们在来年平安健康的美好祝愿。

In the Spring Festival, the senior family members would prepare Yasuiqian (red envelope) for the younger generation when receiving their greetings. Yasuiqian represents best wishes for the younger generation. It’s heard that Yasuiqian could ward off devils because year shares the pronunciation with ghost. Thus, Yasuiqian is also known as “money warding off evil spirits”. The younger generation would have a safe new year with Yasuiqian. Yasuiqian could be given when the younger generation conveys New Year greetings or puts under the pillow. People place Yasuiqian under the pillow aiming to ward off devils. When evils or fabulous Nian are going to attack kids, children could keep safe by using money to bribe them. Of course, this is not true and only the blessings of the older generation to children wishing them having a healthy and safe new year.