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到瑞士看最酷圣诞老人

2014-01-02 08:24:40 疯狂英语·中学版 2013年12期

The Christmas season is usually the merriest time of year for many countries across the globe. Switzerland is no exception. Just before the 25th of December hits, youll be able to 1)feast your eyes upon the famous character of Saint Nicholas注.

More popularly known as “Santa Claus,” Saint Nicholas is considered to be the Father of Christmas. According to stories in Western culture, he brings gifts down the chimneys of childrens homes on Christmas Eve. He is portrayed in pictures and films as a happy, whitebearded, old man wearing a red coat, white collar and 2)cuffs, red trousers, and black leather boots, oh and a black leather 3)belt too! This image of Santa Claus gained popularity in the 19th century in Canada and the US due to Clement Clarke Moores poem and 4)caricatures drawn by Thomas Nast.

Now this image can be a little bit 5)twisted depending on the creativity of those who will join the ClauWau 6)celebration in Switzerland. If this is your first time hearing about ClauWau, it is worth noting that this is otherwise known as the World Santa Claus 7)Championships held 8)annually on the 30th of November and the 1st of December in Samnaun, a ski 9)resort in Switzerland. Basically, there are teams 10)composed of four people 11)disguised as Santa Claus. The teams come from different countries across the world. Needless to say, the general theme of their costumes is red and white but they can add a little extra if they want to be more 12)artistic and an attention-getter.

During the competition, the teams 13)fight their way through many tiring activities expected of a real Santa Claus, like beating an 14)obstacle course where every competing team should crawl beneath a giant-sized Santa hat to pick gifts along a 15)terrain filled with pine trees and 16)hay 17)bales, and of course, chimney climbing. The fastest teams to 18)accomplish this will qualify for the final obstacle course relay, and the winners of this final stage will be 19)proclaimed Santa Claus World Champion, bringing home 1,500 Swiss francs as a grand prize.

Truly, no other place has such spectacular sightings of Santa Claus, along with over 20,000 visitors willing to watch their 20)strides.

在世界各地的许多国家,圣诞季通常是一年之中最欢乐的时节,瑞士也不例外。就在12月25日降临之前,你还可以一睹著名人物圣·尼古拉斯的风采呢。

圣·尼古拉斯是人们眼中的“圣诞之父”,他更为人所知的另一个名字就是“圣诞老人”。根据西方学问的传说,他会在平安夜沿着各家各户的烟囱爬下来,给孩子们带来礼物。圣诞老人在图画和影片中的形象通常是一个笑容可掬的白胡子老头,穿着有白色领子和袖口的红色外套、红色的长裤和黑色的皮靴。哦,还戴着一条黑色的皮带!19世纪,克莱门特·克拉克·摩尔的诗歌和托马斯·纳斯特的漫画使这个圣诞老人的形象在加拿大和美国流行起来。

现在这个圣诞老人形象可以有一点颠覆,这就得看看即将参加瑞士的圣诞庆祝活动——“克劳瓦”(ClauWau)的人能发挥出怎样的创造力了。如果你是第一次听说“克劳瓦”,那么值得注意的是,这个活动就是每年11月30日到12月1日在瑞士滑雪胜地萨姆瑙恩举行的“世界圣诞老人锦标赛”。参赛队伍来自世界各国,由四个伪装成圣诞老人的人组成一队进行比赛。不用说,红色和白色是他们服装的主题。不过,如果他们想更具艺术性或者更吸引眼球的话,也可以额外增加一些修饰。

比赛时,各队要竭尽所能,完成许多人们期待真正的圣诞老人要完成的活动,这些活动非常考验体力,比如在穿越障碍赛道的环节,每个竞争队伍都要顶着一顶巨型圣诞帽爬行,并沿着有许多松树和干草的地带拾取礼物。除此之外,比赛项目当然还有爬烟囱了。最快完成的队伍将有资格参加最后的障碍接力赛。最后阶段的获胜者将被宣布成为“世界圣诞老人冠军”,捧得1500瑞士法郎的大奖。

确实,世界上再也没有其他地方能让人如此大饱眼福,欣赏圣诞老人的英姿了,而且还有两万多名游客和你一起看着他们飞奔呢。

注:圣·尼古拉斯(270—343)是圣诞老人的原型,生前为米拉城(今土耳其境内)的主教,他还是一位慈善家,因慷慨而被人们爱戴。圣·尼古拉斯喜欢以匿名的方式赠送给当地穷人各种礼物。去世后,他被当地人尊称为圣人,其生前事迹被逐渐演绎成今天的圣诞老人传说。

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