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在8月庆祝“新年”的西班牙小镇

更新时间:2019/3/25 21:42:39 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Spanish town celebrating New Year's Eve in August
在8月庆祝“新年”的西班牙小镇

The streets are brightly lit with holiday decorations, mounds of grapes standing at the ready to accommodate the Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight to ensure good luck. As the minutes tick past, the small town of Bérchules prepares to ring in the New Year.

街上到处张灯结彩,灯火通明,成堆的葡萄已经准备好迎接“新年”——在西班牙的传统中,除夕的午夜要吃掉12颗葡萄以求得好运。时间滴滴答答流逝,贝尔丘莱斯小镇(Bérchules)“新年”的钟声即将敲响。

Only it isn’t 31 December. It’s the first weekend of August.

然而,这并不是12月31日,而是8月的第一个周末。

In the grand scheme of head-scratching ideas, celebrating New Year's Eve in August must lie somewhere near the very top. However, Bérchules, nestled high in the Alpujarras region of Andalucía, has, for the last 25 years, done exactly that.

如果把各种令人抓狂的想法排个序,8月庆祝“新年”一定排名很靠前。然而,位于安达卢西亚(Andalucía)的阿勒普耶罗斯(Alpujarras)地区的贝尔丘莱斯过去25年以来都是这么做的。

It was in the final hours of 1993 that this story begins. Preparations to welcome 1994 were complete, but the clock strikes never came.

这个故事要追溯到1993年的最后几个小时。当时,迎接1994年新年的准备全部就绪,但新年来到时钟声却迟迟没有敲响。

“I was 11 at the time,” said Ismael Padilla Gervilla, now mayor of Bérchules. “Just before 20:00, all the lights in the town went out.” A power cut caused by bad weather meant that the small town would creep unceremoniously, and in almost pitch black, into 1994.

现任贝尔丘莱斯市市长的杰维拉(Padilla Gervilla)说:“当时我才11岁,但差不多快到晚上8点的时候,镇上所有的灯都灭了。”恶劣天气造成的停电毫不留情地让这个小镇在一片漆黑中步入了1994年。

“We dined by candlelight” he continued, “then for hours we listened to an old battery-powered radio that my parents had brought back from their time in Germany – we never used to listen to that radio because we always watched TV – but that night it was really useful.”

他接着说:“我们在烛光下吃饭,然后听了几个小时的收音机,这台用电池的收音机是我父母从德国带回来的。以前因为一直都在看电视,我们从来没有听过那台收音机,但那天晚上这台收音机发挥了很大的作用。”

Electricity was restored the following day, but the New Year had begun in a most regrettable manner. Later in the month a town meeting was convened. Frustration and anger was vented towards the electricity company that, in some eyes, had robbed the town of a new year. Yet through the discord a radical idea finally emerged.

虽然第二天就恢复供电了,但由于新年以这样令人遗憾的方式开始,所以没多久小镇就召开了一次会议。大家把愤怒和不满归咎于电力公司,有些人甚至认为是电力公司抢走了他们的新年。最后,一个大胆的想法出现了。

Bérchules finally threw its New Year’s Eve party on 6 August 1994 – a move that would drastically alter the town’s course. Since then, those attending the festivities has risen dramatically. “Last August there were over 10,000 people here,” said Antonio Castillo Sanchez, president of the village’s New Year’s Eve Association.

贝尔丘莱斯最终于1994年8月6日重新举行“新年夜”庆典。这彻底改变了小镇的传统,之后越来越多的人加入到庆典中来。小镇的“新年夜”协会主席桑切斯(Antonio Castillo Sanchez)告诉我们:“去年8月,参加庆典的人数已经超过一万人。”

“The original idea to wait until August was simply so that the bars, restaurants, shops and nightclubs could recover their losses from the past 31 December, and to take advantage of the summer tourists,” Padilla Gervilla said. “But it was such a success that we’ve continued celebrating it [then] ever since.”

杰维拉说:“我们最初打算定在8月庆祝‘新年’主要是为了让酒吧、餐馆、商店和夜总会有时间恢复盈利,填补去年12月31日因停电造成的亏损,而且还能通过夏季游客创收。由于第一次活动办得非常成功,所以就延续了这一传统。”

If changing the date of New Year’s Eve sounds bizarre, it’s worth bearing in mind that 31 December hasn’t always been the last day of the year. It wasn’t until 46BC that Julius Caesar ordered the reformation of the original Roman calendar, which for the first time introduced 1 January as the start of the year.

如果你认为新年夜定在8月很荒诞,那么值得注意的是,12月31日并不总是一年中的最后一天。直到公元前46年,凯撒大帝(Julius Caesar)才下令改革原始的罗马历法,首次确定将每年的1月1日作为新一年的开始。

But the practice fell away in the Middle Ages. Caesar and his astronomer had miscalculated the length of a solar year by 11 minutes, a mistake that added 10 days to the year by the mid-15th Century, by which time many European countries had chosen days of religious significance, such as Christmas, to mark the beginning of a new year. It wasn’t until 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII and his astronomers corrected the length of the solar year and introduced the Gregorian calendar, that 1 January was re-introduced as the start of the year, and even then it was only initially adopted by predominantly Catholic European countries, including Spain. England would continue to celebrate the New Year on 25 March, known as Lady Day, until 1752, when it too adopted the new system.

但是这种做法在中世纪中断了。凯撒大帝和他的天文学家们将太阳年的长度多算了11分钟,导致15世纪中叶多出来10天,所以那时许多欧洲国家选择了具有宗教意义的日子——如圣诞节,作为新年的开始。直到1582年,教宗额我略十三世(Pope Gregory XIII)和他的天文学家纠正了太阳年的长度并确立了格里历法(即公历),1月1日才重新被确定为一年的开始,即便如此,格里历起初只被以天主教为主的欧洲国家所采用,英格兰继续在3月25日庆祝新年,称为“圣母领报节”(Lady Day),直到1752年才开始采用格里历。

Located 1,319m above sea level in the foothills of Spain’s imposing Sierra Nevada mountain range, Bérchules is not an easily accessible place. From Granada, a road barrels freely south towards the Mediterranean, but at the Rules Reservoir the route swings east and winds slowly upwards through a rocky wildness, pocketed with blossoming almond trees that seem to hang desperately from the slopes.

贝尔丘莱斯位于西班牙雄伟的内华达山脉(Sierra Nevada)山麓地带海拔1319米处,交通不便。从格拉纳达(Granada)出发,只有一条公路朝地中海方向自由地向南延申,到山脉水库(Rules Reservoir)附近往东行驶,缓缓向上蜿蜒穿过一片岩石荒野,映入眼帘的是挣扎着从斜坡上垂下来的杏仁树,树上开满了杏仁花。

Bérchules’ buildings are simple and whitewashed, the lanes narrow and winding. Once nicknamed ‘Paperos’ for its famed potatoes, the town now produces some of the finest cherry tomatoes in the region. Bérchules is also known for its iron-rich water, considered not only good for the muscles, but also for the heart: according to a message in blue-and-white tile above the fountain at the town’s entrance, those who drink its slightly effervescent water will find true love (or at the very least get married).

贝尔丘莱斯的建筑物结构简单,墙壁刷白,车道狭窄而蜿蜒。因其土豆非常有名,所以曾被称为“土豆”。小镇如今还盛产该地最好的樱桃番茄。贝尔丘莱斯也因其水质富含铁而闻名,对肌肉和心脏都大有裨益。小镇入口处喷泉上方的蓝白色瓷砖上的碑文写着:喝了这里的水,你就能找到真爱(或至少能结婚)。

Preparations for the town’s New Year’s Eve party begin as early as January. August is traditionally a month of fiestas in Spain, and for a party of this size in a town with one road in and one road out, it's important to get everything just right.

小镇新年夜庆典早在1月就开始筹备了。8月是西班牙的一个传统庆典季节,举办如此大规模的庆典,尤其在这样一个只有一条马路进出的小镇,所有准备都必须恰到好处。

“Security, parking, merchandise, waiters…” Castillo Sanchez quickly rattled off a mental checklist. “Then there’s the food.” Despite taking place in August, the celebration still incorporates culinary traditions typically reserved for the holiday season. Polverone and mantecado are types of shortbread certain to be found on any self-respecting Spanish Christmas table, and there are 3,000kg of it to supply the high demand. The typical Christmas dishes of turkey and veal are served alongside refreshing, regional summer favourites such as gazpacho and the similar tomato-based cold soup, salmorejo.

桑切斯对要准备的东西倒背如流:“保安、泊车、商品、服务员……食物。”尽管在8月举行,庆典保留了传统的节日烹饪习惯。 Polverone和mantecado是两种脆饼,脆饼是西班牙圣诞餐桌上必不可少的一道菜,脆饼需求量高达3000公斤。典型的新年菜肴包括火鸡和小牛肉,佐以西班牙凉菜汤和番茄冷汤(salmorejo)等清爽的夏季应季美食。 

Three wise men on horseback amble through the crowds. Samba dancers saunter to a thudding beat, and a trusty donkey plods along while traditional sweets are hurled from giant sacks on its back to the excited children. Small pouches of a dozen grapes are sold for 1 to those wishing to stick with tradition, while a small shop does a roaring trade on Santa hats and reindeer horns.

三位智者骑马漫步于人群中。桑巴舞者随着砰砰声漫步,驴子也缓缓前行,它背上驮着的大麻袋里装满了传统糖果,撒落到兴奋的孩子们手里。想要坚持传统的人们花一欧元就能买到一个小袋子,里面装着十几颗葡萄,而一家小商店的贩卖圣诞老人帽和驯鹿角最为畅销。

“It’s Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Carnival, but in the summer,” Castillo Sanchez explained enthusiastically.

桑切斯解释说:“这是夏日里的圣诞节、也是新年夜、更是狂欢节。”

As the blistering heat of the day slowly abates, people gather in the town’s two main squares. The clock’s hands high on the village’s church tower inch slowly towards midnight. A thunderous roar splits the night air as the first chimes heralding the arrival of a New Year echo through the streets. Champagne corks rush skywards while artificial snow begins to rain down from above. Hugs, kisses and well wishes are exchanged in the typical Spanish carefree manner to friends and strangers alike.

随着白天的热气退散,人们聚集在镇上的两个主要广场。高挂在小镇教堂塔楼上的时钟向着午夜12点缓缓移动。雷鸣般的轰鸣声划破了夜晚的天空,街道上回响起新年的第一声钟响。人造雪花漫天撒下,香槟瓶塞冲向天空。大家以典型的西班牙式的无忧无虑与朋友和陌生人拥抱、亲吻和祝福。

This being Spain, the party has only just begun. The residents of Bérchules and their thousands of guests will continue singing Christmas songs and dancing under the warm night sky well into the next morning.

这就是西班牙,庆典才刚刚开始。贝尔丘莱斯的居民和成千上万的客人们将继续唱着圣诞歌曲,在温暖的夜空下跳舞到天亮。

“It’s a magical place,” Carmen Espinosa, a pharmacist from Granada, told me wistfully. “The air is clean and pure from the mountains, with the smell of the Christmas food drifting through the town – it just feels so festive. Even as a visitor you feel at home here – there is so just much kindness.”

格拉纳达的药剂师埃斯皮诺萨(Carmen Espinosa)迫不及待地告诉我:“这是一个神奇的地方,山上空气清新纯净,小镇弥漫着圣诞食物的味道——这简直太喜庆了!即使是一名游客都能体会到宾至如归的感觉。这里充满着美好和善意。”

Like Júzcar, the town just under four hours away that was famously painted blue to advertise the Smurf movie – and chose to remain blue – Bérchules has found its niche. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the change, and the town is currently applying to have its alternative New Year’s Eve recognised by the Andalusian government as a Festival of Tourism Interest – an honour that can only be awarded after quarter of a century.

就像胡斯卡尔镇(Júzcar)一样,距离该镇不到四小时车程的地方就是著名电影《蓝精灵》(Smurf)的蓝色广告牌——它现在仍然保留着蓝色——贝尔丘莱斯已经找到了自己的定位。今年是庆祝夏日“新年”的25周年,小镇正在向安达卢西亚政府申请将自己的另类新年夜庆典认可成一个旅游节日——获得这项荣誉必须满足有25年的历史。

“We managed turned the negative into an enormous positive, and now we have visitors from all over the world,” Padilla Gervilla said proudly.

杰维拉自豪地说:“我们将坏事转化称了好事,现在这里的游客遍布世界各地。”

“Last weekend I was in the UK, in Brighton, and I met somebody who had heard of this small town – it was incredible,” Castillo Sanchez added. “You can find a wonderful street party anywhere in Spain. But only here in Bérchules can you find a new year in August. For me this is beautiful.”

桑切斯补充道:“上周末,我在英国布莱顿遇到了一个听说过我们镇的人——这是令人难以置信的。你可以在西班牙的任何地方邂逅一场精彩的街头派对,但只有来到贝尔丘莱斯,你才能在八月庆祝‘新年’。对我来说,这太美妙了!”

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