立夏是中国传统24节气当中的第7个节气,今年的立夏从5月5日开始至20日结束。立夏标志着夏季的开始,明人《莲生八戕》中说:“孟夏之日,天地始交,万物并秀。”那么在立夏这一天,又有哪些传统的民俗活动呢?

迎夏 

Greeting the Start of Summer

据记载,周朝时立夏这天,皇帝要率领文武百官到京城外的南郊迎夏,举行祭祀炎帝、祝融的仪式,并指令司徒等官去各地勉励农民抓紧农耕。古时,迎夏的队伍穿的礼服、佩的玉、坐的马车和马,甚至于车上的旗帜必须都是红色的,这标志着炎热的夏天就要来到了。

The term Start of Summer was originated at the end of the Warring States Period (239 BC). Since it is a crucial time for the harvest of summer crops such as wheat and canola, ancient Chinese emperors in different dynasties attached great importance to the Start of Summer.

 

In the Zhou Dynasty (1050-221 BC), the emperor led his officials to stage a welcome rite for the Start of Summer and encouraged his residents to seize the key time to do farm work. It's said that most of the decorations were arranged in the color red, including the emperor and the officials' dress, the jade pendants, the horses and the flags, in order to show respect to the god of summer and pray for a good harvest.

 

rite:仪式

jade pendant:玉坠

 

挂蛋、斗蛋

Egg Competitions

谚称:“立夏胸挂蛋,孩子不疰夏。”立夏这天,民间有挂蛋祈求孩子健康的习俗。人们在立夏日中午,将煮好的鸡蛋用冷水浸上数分钟之后再套上早已编织好的丝网袋,挂于孩子颈上,以祈求孩子在夏季健康成长。胸前挂上蛋的孩子们便三三两两围在一起玩斗蛋了。蛋有两端,尖者为头,圆者为尾。斗蛋时蛋头斗蛋头,蛋尾击蛋尾。一个一个斗过去,破者认输,最后决出胜负。

 

As an old Chinese saying goes, "hanging an egg on children's chests can prevent them from getting summer diseases", parents will prepare boiled eggs and put them in a knitted bag before hanging them on their children's chests.

 

When at school, children gather together to play egg competitions by colliding each other's eggs in pairs and the one whose egg is not broken wins.

 

knitted bag:编织袋

collide:碰撞

 

 

称人 

Checking one's weight

 

立夏之日的“称人”习俗主要流行于我国南方,起源于三国时代。称人习俗流传至今,每当立夏之日,人们吃罢中饭,在村口或天井里挂起一杆大木秤,秤钩悬一个凳子或箩筐,大家轮流坐到上面称。 

 

古诗云:“立夏称人轻重数,秤悬梁上笑喧闺。”司秤人一面打秤花,一面讲着吉利话。称老人时说“秤花八十七,活到九十一”。称姑娘时说“一百零五斤,员外人家找上门。勿肯勿肯偏勿肯,状元公子有缘分”。称小孩时则说“秤花一打二十三,小官人长大会出山。七品县官勿犯难,三公九卿也好攀”。打秤花只能里打出(即从小数打到大数),不能外打里。 

 

The custom of weighing people at the Start of Summer originated from the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280) and prevails in South China today. It was believed this practice would bring health and good luck to the people weighted. 

 

After lunch on the day of Start of Summer, people would suspend a stool or basket from a beam. The young and old took turns to get weighed while the person calculating the weight would offer good wishes and auspicious words. It is said those who were weighed would stay healthy in the hot summer and those who weren't would suffer illness.

 

prevail: 盛行、流行

stool:凳子

beam:扁担

auspicious:吉祥的、兴旺的

 

最后,小编送上一首宋朝诗人陆游的立夏之诗,让我们从诗句中一同领略古时初夏风物:

 

 

 

《立夏》

陆游(宋)

 赤帜插城扉 ,东君整驾归。
  泥新巢燕闹 ,花尽蜜蜂稀。
  槐柳阴初密 ,帘栊暑尚微。
  日斜汤沐罢 ,熟练试单衣。