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The origin of the New Year's resolution “新年决心” 的前世今生

分享到: 2019-01-09 18:41:50 BBC英语教学

摘要:很多人会在一年之初给自己制定各类计划和目标,对过去曾犯下的错误进行反省,改过自新。人们每在新年之际为来年制定自我提高计划这个概念从何而来?各个国家有哪些相关的习俗和传统?本集节目介绍 “新年决心” 的起源,并讲解与 “期许、承诺” 有关的词汇。

随身英语

The origin of the New Year's resolution “新年决心” 的前世今生

很多人会在一年之初给自己制定各类计划和目标,对过去曾犯下的错误进行反省,改过自新。人们每在新年之际为来年制定自我提高计划这个概念从何而来?各个国家有哪些相关的习俗和传统?本集节目介绍 “新年决心” 的起源,并讲解与 “期许、承诺” 有关的词汇。

Vocabulary: New Year’s resolutions and promises 词汇: 新年决心与期许

Happy New Year! For many in the UK, if the New Year means anything, it means starting with a clean slate and turning over a new leaf. And to do this, many of us make New Year's resolutions – a list of ways that we intend to improve ourselves in the year ahead. We reflect on our past transgressions and resolve not to do them again. Refraining from smoking is ever popular, as is a vow to take up more exercise or spend more time with family. But where does the idea of a New Year's resolution come from?

The answer might lie 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylonia, according to History.com. The Babylonians are believed to be the first to hold recorded celebrations for the New Year. The 12-day-long celebration, Akitu, allowed them not only to reaffirm their loyalty to the king, or crown a new one, but also to pledge to the gods to pay their debts and return borrowed objects. For their 'good behaviour', they believed the gods would bestow favour upon them for the year to come. If not, there would be divine consequences!

The Romans too had similar traditions. New Year's Day was a time when senators would swear they had upheld the laws and city leaders and soldiers would take an oath of loyalty to the emperor. Incidentally, the month of January, is named after the Roman god Janus. He is the god of beginnings, transitions and time, among other things and is depicted as having two faces – one looking to the past and the other facing forward to the future.

The Romans may be long gone, but their legacy lives on. Come the turn of the year, our eyes turn inwards. We look at self-improvement, review our past mistakes, confess our wrongdoings, seek atonement and try to sharpen up in general. Ultimately, much like the Babylonians and Romans, we seek to reaffirm the best parts of ourselves, while leaving the dross behind.

Whether you're looking at a quick behavioural tweak, or a huge personality overhaul, you're taking part in a tradition that goes back centuries. I wish you all the best sticking to your resolutions. Happy New Year!

词汇表

a clean slate 从头开始、既往不咎
turn over a new leaf 翻开新篇章,改过自新
resolution 决心
improve 提高、改善
reflect on 反省、回想
transgression 罪过
resolve 下决心
refrain from 忍住不…
vow 誓言
celebration 庆祝活动
reaffirm 重申
pledge 保证
swear 发誓
take an oath 宣誓、立下誓言
self-improvement 自我提高、自我改善
review 回顾
wrongdoing 过错、不当行为
atonement 弥补(过失、过错)

测验与练习

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. True or False? New Year is associated with starting fresh.

2. What did the Babylonians believe good behaviour during Akitu would bless them with?

3. What distinguishing physical feature does the Roman god Janus have?

4. In what way are contemporary people much like the Babylonians and Romans?

5. Which phrasal verb used in the article means 'remove problems or find solutions'?

2. 请在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

1. A person who is genuinely sorry can be forgiven for their ______. Just say sorry!

resolution vow pledge transgression

2. Please ______ from smoking within hospital grounds.

refrain reaffirm reflect review

3. Young man, I suggest you go to your room and ______ on your bad behaviour!

celebrate reflect swear pledge

4. If you give me one more chance, I promise I'll ______.

clean slate turn over a new leaf take an oath self-improvement

5. Thank you all for coming to my wedding. It's a ______ of our love for each other.

improve celebration oath review

答案

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. True or False? New Year is associated with starting fresh.
True. If the New Year means anything, it means starting with a clean slate and turning over a new leaf.

2. What did the Babylonians believe good behaviour during Akitu would bless them with?
They believed it would bless them with good favour for the year ahead.

3. What distinguishing physical feature does the Roman god Janus have?
Janus has two faces - one looking to the past and the other facing forward to the future.

4. In what way are contemporary people much like the Babylonians and Romans?
We seek to reaffirm the best parts of ourselves, while leaving the dross behind.

5. Which phrasal verb used in the article means 'remove problems or find solutions'?
'Iron out'. "The idea of using the New Year to iron out our flaws and improve ourselves is not a new one."

2. 请在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

1. A person who is genuinely sorry can be forgiven for their transgression. Just say sorry!

2. Please refrain from smoking within hospital grounds.

3. Young man, I suggest you go to your room and reflect on your bad behaviour!

4. If you give me one more chance, I promise I'll turn over a new leaf.

5. Thank you all for coming to my wedding. It's a celebration of our love for each other.

责任编辑:renshuli

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