On the Chinese and Western Superstition Differences in Superstition-related Numbers and Festivals between Chinese and English 从英汉数字和迷信节日看中西方的迷信思想差异 内容摘要
Superstition, as one part of human culture, dates from the first day when human beings appeared. Superstitious thoughts are always in people’s minds in spite of the scientific and technological advancement. Superstition can be found in every aspect of human life; it has a great influence on people’s behavior. As a cultural phenomenon, superstition varies from one nation to another. With frequent communications between nations all over the world, it is necessary to have acknowledgement of the differences in superstition between different countries. There are some differences between China and western countries in the numbers and superstition festivals. The major factors are cultural gap, homophonous phenomena, religious reason, psychological factor, and so on. So the paper’s theme is analyzing the disparity of superstition between China and western countries by studying the numbers and festivals, and studying the disparity.
Key words: superstition; differences; superstition-related numbers; superstitious festivals
1 The Origin and the Definition of Superstition
1.1 The Origin of Superstition
1.2 The Definition of Superstition
2 The Superstition about Numbers and Festivals in China and Western Countries
2 2.1 The Superstition about Numbers
2.1.1 Superstition-related Numbers in China
2.1.2 Superstition-related Numbers in Western Countries
4 2.2 The Superstition about Festivals
2.2.1 The Hungry Ghost Festival in China
2.2.2 Halloween in Western Countries
3 The Reasons for the Superstition Disparity
3.1 The Cultural Gap
3.2 The Religious Reason
3.3 The Psychological Factor
Superstition is a belief, or system of beliefs, by which almost religious veneration is attached to things mostly secular; a parody of religious faith in which there is belief in an occult or a magic connection. Therefore, superstition can be said to be the result of ignorance. Superstition dates from the first day when human beings appeared. Modern society is characterized by the highly developed science and technology; however, many superstitious ideas are still deeply rooted in people’s mind, and have great influence on their behavior. As a cultural phenomenon, superstition varies from society to society and from country to country. Take the number“13”as an example, Chinese people do not think it is an unlucky number, but for English people, it is an unlucky number, even an evil number which will bring disasters. So we can come into a conclusion that different nations have different superstition concept. Now living in a global village, people from different countries, cultures, religions, and histories begin to communicate and exchange their various ideas. Meanwhile, cultural conflicts appear and are becoming a more and more serious problem. Superstition disparity is a point in case. This thesis aims to concentrate on analyzing the disparity of superstition between China and western countries by studying the numbers and festivals. Reasons for the disparity are also explored. The paper is composed of six parts: the first part is the introduction of the thesis; the second part is designed to introduce the definition of superstition; the third part presents superstition in numbers of China and western countries; the fourth part studies their superstitious festivals; then the analysis of the...
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