Fri, Dec 21, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Where do gingerbread houses come from? 薑餅屋的由來

A gingerbread house in the Breeze Center, Taipei, Dec.19 2007.
十二月十九日,台北市微風廣場內的一座薑餅屋。照片︰台北時報

PHOTO: CATHERINE THOMAS, TAIPEI TIMES

Have you ever seen a gingerbread house? Do you know where gingerbread houses come from?

Gingerbread is like a soft cookie and is made using spices. It was very popular all over Europe in the Middle Ages. It was especially popular in Germany because Germany used to be an important place to buy spices.

In the autumn people would buy gingerbread hearts in Nuremburg at the Christmas market. Then in 1819 the Brothers Grimm published a collection of traditional German fairy tales. One of the fairy tales is called Hansel and Gretel. Have you ever read it?

In the fairy tale Hansel and his sister Gretel are lost in the woods. They find a house made of bread, cake and candies. But the house belongs to a witch!

In 1893 a famous composer, Engelbert Humperdinck, wrote an opera based on the fairy tale.

In the opera the witch’s house was made of gingerbread. The opera was shown for the first time that Christmas. It was very popular. Pretty soon it was a German Christmas tradition to make gingerbread houses. (CATHERINE THOMAS, STAFF WRITER)

你曾看過薑餅屋嗎?你知道薑餅屋的由來嗎?

薑餅是用多種香料做成的軟餅乾,在中古時代盛行歐洲各地,在德國尤其受歡迎,因為德國曾是香料的重要貿易地。

人們會在秋天時到紐倫堡的耶誕市集買心型薑餅。到了一八一九年,格林兄弟出版德國傳說的童話故事集,其中有一篇故事叫《糖果屋》,你讀過這個故事嗎?

在故事中,韓塞爾和他的妹妹葛蕾特在森林裡迷路,他們發現一間用麵包、蛋糕和糖果蓋的房子,但房子的主人是一個女巫!

一八九三年,名作曲家英格柏•漢普汀克寫了一齣以此童話故事為背景的歌劇。

歌劇中,女巫的房子是用薑餅蓋的,這齣歌劇在耶誕節首演後廣獲好評。不久之後,做薑餅屋就成為德國耶誕節的傳統習俗了。(翻譯�袁星塵)

TODAY'S WORDS 今日單字

1. gingerbread  n.

薑餅 (jiang1 bing3)

例: My mom bought me a gingerbread man.

(我媽買了一個薑餅人給我。)

2. spice n.

香料 (xiang1 liao4)

例: Nutmeg and ginger are examples of spices.

(肉豆蔻和薑都是香料的一種。)

3. publish  v.i./v.t.

出版 (chu1 ban3)

例: I'm very excited that my book will be published next week.

(我的書下週就要出版了,我興奮極了。)

4. composer  n.

作曲家 (zuo4 qu3 jia1)

例: Beethoven was a famous composer.

(貝多芬是一位名作曲家。)


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