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圣诞树上挂根儿腌黄瓜!

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2018年12月25日

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圣诞树上挂根儿腌黄瓜!
Every family has its own holiday traditions. Maybe they open Christmas presents after dinner. Perhaps they hang stockings up for their pet. Some might display homemade decorations.

每一个家庭都有自己的节日传统。有些人或许会在晚饭后打开圣诞礼物,有些人或许会为自家的宠物悬挂圣诞袜,还有些人甚至或许会悬挂自制的装饰品。

Others might hide a Christmas pickle ornament in their tree, as simplemost highlights.

而其他人,则可能会在圣诞树上隐藏一根腌黄瓜饰品,以此作为最简朴的点睛之笔。

This tradition, which allegedly has roots in Germany, has been adopted by a growing number of American households in the Midwest and elsewhere. Usually, the glossy green ornament in the shape and texture of a pickle is hung somewhere deep in the tree. The first child to find the pickle on Christmas morning is the recipient of good luck in the coming year and a special gift. (The other children are presumably fresh out of luck.)

这一据称源于德国的传统已被越来越多的美国中西部家庭所采用。通常来说,这种外观与纹理如同腌黄瓜的绿色光滑装饰物会悬挂在圣诞树的深处。第一个在圣诞节早晨找到这个腌黄瓜的孩子将会获得来年的好运以及一份特殊礼物。

Many of these families are under the impression that the Christmas pickle, or Weihnachtsgurke, was brought over to the United States by German immigrants. It’s been said the poverty-stricken people of 19th-century Spreewald, too poor to have actual ornaments, hung pickles instead.

在这些家庭中,许多人都认为圣诞腌黄瓜,或者说是「Weihnachtsgurke」,是由德国移民带入美国的。据说在19世纪,居住于施普雷瓦尔德的穷人由于穷到买不起真正的装饰品,所以才会以腌黄瓜为代替品。

While all of this makes some sense—or as much sense as a brined holiday ornament is ever going to make—the reality is that the vast majority of Germans have never heard of this tradition. In 2016, after word of Americans hanging pickles was picked up by German newspapers, a survey found that 91 percent of German households had no idea about Christmas pickles or what they were intended to represent.

但事实上,绝大多数德国人从未听说过这种传统。2016年,美国人悬挂腌黄瓜的消息在德国报纸上传开后,一项调查发现,91%的德国家庭都不知道圣诞腌黄瓜或其原本代表什么。

It turns out that clever marketing may be behind it. When retail giant Woolworths began importing German ornaments in the 1890s, they noted that some were in the shape of a pickle and began ascribing a deeper meaning behind it. This was no ordinary ornament—it was a pickle steeped in the customs of an exotic land.

事实证明,这可能是场精明的营销事件。当零售业巨头Woolworths在19世纪90年代开始进口德国饰品时,他们注意到有些饰品的形状就像一根腌黄瓜,于是便打算在其背后赋予更深层的含义:这可不是普通的装饰品,而是一根曾浸泡在异国风情中的腌黄瓜。

Much later, in the 1990s, ornament artisans began relating the apocryphal story of the pickle, saying its green color blended with the tree and that a child would be rewarded for their “keen observation” in finding it.

晚些时候,装饰品工匠们便开始讲述有关泡菜的伪造故事。据他们所言,腌黄瓜的绿色会与圣诞树混合,那些找到它的孩子会其「敏锐的观察力」而获得奖励。

Another, far more disturbing folk origin involves an evil shopkeeper in Myra, a town that hosted the benevolent St. Nicholas in the Middle Ages. As the story goes, the shopkeeper enjoyed dismembering children and stuffing them into pickle barrels. St. Nicholas prayed, and the mutilated children emerged from their briny fates alive and well.

除此之外,还有一个令人不安的民间传说。相传在一个名叫Myra的小镇里,住着一个讨厌孩子的邪恶店主。有一天,这个邪恶店主绑架了三个小男孩,并将它们切成小块后放入了泡菜桶中。在仁慈的圣·尼古拉斯(译者注:圣诞老人的原型)祈祷下,当泡菜桶再次打开时,残缺不全的孩子们安然无恙地复活了。

Whether it had origins in Spreewald or gruesome fantasies, it seems Americans embraced the tale. .

无论圣诞腌黄瓜起源于施普雷瓦尔德,还是令人毛骨悚然的幻想作品,美国人似乎都已经接受了这项传统。


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