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从古至今,春节一直是中国最重要的节日。普通百姓过春节的习俗主要有包饺子、穿新衣、挂春联、走亲戚等。那么,古代中国的皇帝都是如何庆祝春节的呢?

和普通老百姓一样,皇帝在春节时会穿上特殊的服饰,皇室也会安排聚餐。在农历除夕夜,皇帝会穿上用金线及彩线缝制成的黄色龙袍,上面绣有精致的龙纹以及十二生肖,鲜艳的服饰象征着吉祥和国家兴旺。清朝(1644-1911)时期,皇室的年夜饭和普通家庭一样聚集在一起包饺子。家庭宴会是不可或缺的一部分,皇帝会分别和皇后、嫔妃、子嗣等举行家宴。家宴要求严格,例如餐具的数量、颜色、质量及座位顺序都要按照皇室礼仪来安排。除此之外,皇室也会集体熬夜守岁。

春节期间,皇帝们也会进行一些娱乐活动。在新年第一天,皇帝会在其寝宫养心殿(Hall of Mental Cultivation)的冬暖阁(Dongnuan Pavillion)点上一支玉烛,并在固金杯内倒酒,书写一些吉祥的话语。随后,皇帝还会饮用为春节特别制作的屠苏酒,旨在摆脱瘟疫,强健身体。农历正月初二到初十,皇帝会选择一个吉利的日子举行茶会,邀请大臣参加。在没有电视的时代,看戏算是皇室的大型娱乐活动。清朝几位皇帝甚至能在戏里扮演角色。

即便是在皇宫,贴春联、挂门神也是春节的重要习俗。和民间家庭不同的是,皇宫的春联由翰林院(Imperial Hanlin Academy)的学士们书写,春联都用墨水书写在昂贵的白绸上,然后用框架裱起来悬挂在宫殿的红柱上。皇宫里的对联很多,主要歌颂平安繁荣的时代、皇帝的功德,或表达富国强民的美好愿望。


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Comprehension Questions
百姓 - bǎixìng - common people
习俗 - xísú - custom / tradition / local tradition / convention
春联 - chūnlián - Spring Festival couplet (the first line of which is pasted on the right side of a doorway at New Year, and the second on the left side)
服饰 - fúshì - apparel / clothing and personal adornment
聚餐 - jùcān - communal meal / formal dinner of club or group
农历 - nónglì - the traditional Chinese calendar / the lunar calendar
除夕 - Chúxī - lunar New Year's Eve
缝制 - féngzhì - to sow (clothes, bedding etc.)
龙袍 - lóngpáo - dragon robe / Emperor's court dress
绣 - xiù - to embroider / embroidery
精致 - jīngzhì - delicate / fine / exquisite / refined
龙纹 - lóngwén - dragon (as a decorative design)
生肖 - shēngxiào - animals of the Chinese zodiac
吉祥 - jíxiáng - lucky / auspicious / propitious
兴旺 - xīngwàng - to prosper / to flourish / prosperous / thriving
清朝 - Qīngcháo - Ch'ing or Qing dynasty (1644-1911 AD)
聚集 - jùjí - to assemble / to gather
皇后 - Huánghòu - Empress / Imperial Consort
嫔妃 - pínfēi - imperial concubine
子嗣 - zǐsì - son / heir
礼仪 - lǐyí - etiquette / ceremony
守岁 - shǒusuì - to see in the New Year
玉烛 - yùzhú - jade candle
固 - gù - hard / strong / solid
吉祥 - jíxiáng - lucky / auspicious / propitious
屠苏酒 - Túsū jiǔ - Tusu wine (made by immersing Chinese herbal medicines in wine)
摆脱 - bǎituō - to break away from / to get rid of / to break away (from) / to free oneself from
瘟疫 - wēnyì - epidemic / plague / pestilence / diseased
正月 - Zhēngyuè - first month of the lunar year
大臣 - Dàchén - Chancellor / Cabinet Minister
扮演 - bànyǎn - to play the role of / to act
昂贵 - ángguì - expensive / costly
绸 - chóu - silk
框架 - kuàngjià - frame / framework / fig. pattern / outline
裱 - biǎo - to hang (paper) / to mount (painting)
悬挂 - xuánguà - to suspend / to hang
宫殿 - gōngdiàn - palace
柱 - zhù - pillar
对联 - duìlián - rhyming couplet / pair of lines of verse written vertically down the sides of a doorway
歌颂 - gēsòng - to sing the praises of / to extol / to eulogise
功德 - gōngdé - achievements and virtue
除此之外… - Expressing "apart from this / in addition to this…" with "chú​cǐ​zhī​wài…"
除此之外,皇室也会集体熬夜守岁。

算是 + Noun / Adj. - Expressing "to be considered as…" with "suàn​shì + Noun / Adj."
在没有电视的时代,看戏算是皇室的大型娱乐活动。

即便… - Expressing "even if / even though…" with "jíbiàn…"
即便是在皇宫,贴春联、挂门神也是春节的重要习俗。
不可或缺 - bùkěhuòquē - necessary / must have
 
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