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回忆上世纪60年代时的香港春节 (下)
How did my family celebrate Chinese New Year in 1960s? (Part 2 of 2)




我的童年是在香港度过的。上世纪60年代春节的传统、习俗至今还深深地印在自己的脑海中。有关本文的上篇,请访问:http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/666076。

I spent my earlier childhood years in Hong Kong. The traditions and customs practised during the Chinese New Year in the 1960's etched into my mind to this very day. For the first part of this article, please click: http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/666076.

在大年除夕和“临时”搭建的夜市,我们还要贴对联或者用毛笔书写的“挥春”来装点大门。这些对联是对来年的祝福。父母从来都要求我们在参观夜市时穿新鞋。与成千上万的人一道,我们在各个小巷内的街头摊位间串来串去,扯着脖子喊“卖懒,卖懒,卖到年三十​​晚,你懒我唔懒!”。如今回顾这个习俗时,发现这种叫喊一点不管用。

On the New Year's Eve and at the “temporary” night market, we also picked up “Four-worded” banners or Fai Chun done up in calligraphy brushes to adorn entrances throughout the dwellings. These words expressed wishes and luck for the inhabitants throughout the coming year. Parents insisted that we had to wear our new shoes when we visited the night markets. Walking with tens of thousands of people within the narrow alleys between the booths we chanted “Selling laziness, selling till December 30th, you will be lazy but not me from this time onward” When I look back at this custom, I don't think the chanting really led to any results.


 
大年初一,我们从里到外都要穿新衣服,我们必须给长辈、以及祖先的牌坊“磕头”。作为回报,我们会得到红包。我的父母要把给我的红包全部收集起来,等到我成年后还给我。多年以后,这些红包里的钱因通货膨胀已不值钱了,但有些货币却成了有价值的收藏品。

On New year's day, dressed in new garments inside and out, we had to visit and “Kowtow” to living elders as well as shrine plates with our ancestors' names. As rewards, we received red packets of money. My parents kept all of the red packets and returned them when I reached adulthood. Years later, inflation caught up with the monetary values but some of the contents now become rare coinage.

由于我家比较富裕,叔叔和姨妈都会和我们一起开着几部面包车去给长辈们拜年。我们互相祝福,恭喜发财,身体健康。我们要等到年初二才能拜访母亲的家族,这是重男轻女的结果。见面时,瓜子,糖莲子,冬瓜糖都是客主喝茶必不可少的。每家每户吃汤圆意味着“团圆”。

As a big family, all uncles and aunts would travel with us in multiple vehicles (mini vans) and visit elderly relatives of higher hierarchy. We exchanged pleasantries and wished each other good luck, good fortune (Gung Hay Fat Choy), and good health. The family members on my mother's side were visited on the second day of the New year – this being the result of a male dominated and controlled society. Dried melon seeds, sugar coated lotus seeds,and sugar coated melons were offered to visitors along with tea. Tangyuan  (small round dough balls in water) meaning “reunion” were served within the individual family unit.


 
此外,新年还有一些忌讳,如大年初一不能扫地,不开水龙头。这是防止新年第一天的财富和运气被扫出门或冲掉。那年头可以放鞭炮,但1967年后就被禁了。因为当时香港当地的共产党试图推翻香港政府,他们用鞭炮里的火药来制造炸弹。我还记得有一次放鞭炮时,由于没有意识到一个鞭炮的引信很短,差点出事!

There were taboos to follow as well – no sweeping of floors or turning on of water taps on New year's day. These activities will remove and flush away the fortunes and luck deposited on the dwelling on the most blessed day of the entire year. Fire crackers were allowed in my early childhood but eventually banned to the prevent the extraction of gun power for homemade bombs during the 1967 riots initiated by local communists to try and topple the government. I still recall holding onto a firecracker for too long, not realizing that it had a short fuse after lighting it with a stick of burning incense – what a mistake!

舞狮和舞龙大多只在体育馆和社区中心进行。但许多舞狮发生在公司企业的门前。这些公司企业并没有邀请别人来舞狮,但舞狮者通过这个办法向对方讨钱。也有人通过在别人门前放上橘子敲诈钱财。如果你不给钱,他们会损坏你的物业。那些年,香港的贿赂和警察腐败很猖獗。你如果报警,警察不管,因为警匪一家。

Lion and dragon Dances would mostly be performed in stadiums and community centres only. However, I have seen lion dances performed at the front door of businesses with the aim to extract monies from them without invitations. Potted tangerines were also placed at the front doors by extortionists. Properties would be damaged if there racketeers were not paid. Those were the days in Hong Kong when bribery and police corruptions were most rampant. Reporting of such incidents to the police would not result in arrests as they were partners in crime with the criminals.



我这一生都会缅怀在香港过的那些春节。 那些日子很幸福。童年以后,春节的许多传统发生了变化。 我们不再有人气旺盛的大家庭和有时间来准备年货,我们改成到店里购买各种年货。虽然有些老的春节传统将永远消失。 但有一个传统将世世代代延续下去,那就是在春节时对别人说句:“恭喜发财”!

My memories of Chinese New Year in Hong Kong will last a life time. Those were happy days and traditions have evolved since then. We no longer have tightly knitted families and ample spare time to do the New Year preparations and activities so we buy items from the stores here in Canada. Some of the above traditions will be lost forever. There is only one thing that will always remain – saying “Gung Hay Fat Choy” to everyone during the Chinese New Year!



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