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Shedding Light on the Origin of the Birthday Candle 祝你生日快樂!

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2019/07/02 第420期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份直接訂閱

   
 

Shedding Light on the Origin of the Birthday Candle  祝你生日快樂!

by Lauren McCarthy

    

  When you stop and think about it, the idea of birthday cakes is a bit strange. No, it’s not the cake itself that’s weird. After all, marking special occasions with baked goods isn’t new—think of mooncakes for Mid-Autumn Festival or pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. What’s unusual about birthday cakes is the practice of sticking lighted candles into them.
  The concept of a birthday celebration can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians. The pharaohs considered their coronation to be their “birth” as a god. It was the Greeks and Romans who added cake into the mix. The Greeks had cakes to celebrate their gods, while the Romans served sweetened bread for special birthdays. However, it wasn’t until the 17th century that the dessert took on the contemporary form of a layered cake with frosting and decorations. For a long time, this was accessible only for the wealthy, but when prices for ingredients dropped during the Industrial Revolution, birthday cakes became available to the general public.
  The origin behind putting candles on a cake is not as clear. Some people say it started with the Greeks, who placed lighted candles in cakes for Artemis, the goddess of the moon. The flames were meant to symbolize the moon’s glow. Others believe it began in Germany. In 1746, a party for Count Ludwig von Zinzendorf was described as including a cake with a candle for each year of his life plus an extra one in the middle. Still others suggest it originated as a Swiss superstition in which the birthday person had to blow out candles numbering their age that decorated the cake. Wherever it began, candles in cakes are now standard at birthday parties.
————————————

1. What does the author imply about birthday cakes in the first paragraph?
(A) Birthday cakes are not as enjoyable as mooncakes.
(B) Cakes have only recently been used in celebrations.
(C) Placing lighted candles in a dessert is an odd practice.
(D) Pumpkin cake is the strangest flavor the author has tasted.
————————————

2. According to the passage, when did birthday cakes first begin to resemble the modern version?
(A) In ancient Egypt.
(B) In the 17th century.
(C) After the Industrial Revolution.
(D) During the time of the Romans.
————————————

3. What impact did the Industrial Revolution have on birthday cakes?
(A) Factories were able to mass produce cakes.
(B) People had more free time to bake cakes for their children.
(C) Ingredients for cake became more affordable for everyone.
(D) The invention of boxed cake mix made baking easy for all people.
————————————

4. Why did the Greeks place candles in cakes?
(A) It started as a superstitious practice.
(B) The candles reflected the age of their gods.
(C) Candles kept the cake warm before they ate it.
(D) The light from the candles symbolized the moon.

 

pharaoh n. 法老(古代埃及國王的稱呼)
coronation n. 加冕
sweeten vt. 使變甜(本文為過去分詞作形容詞用)
contemporary a. 現代的;當代的
frosting n. 糖霜
revolution n. 革命
count n. 伯爵
mass produce  大量生產

1. shed light on…  闡明……;解釋清楚……
shed vt. 散發(三態同形)
‧ Can you shed light on the mystery of the missing money?
你能解釋那筆錢失竊的謎團嗎?

2. be traced back to…  追溯至……
‧ This Chinese character can be traced back to the third century.
這個中國字可追溯至西元三世紀。

3. become / be available to…  是……可取得的;可供……利用
available a. 可取得的
‧ The aerobics class is available to club members.
該俱樂部會員可以上有氧舞蹈課。
*aerobics n. 有氧運動

4. be meant to V  目的是要……
= be intended to V
‧ This medicine is meant to make me sleepy, but I’m wide awake.
這藥本來是要幫我入睡的,但我卻非常清醒。

5. blow out… / blow… out  吹熄∕吹滅……
blow vt. 吹
三態為:blow, blew, blown。
‧ When Irene arrived at the party, Ed had already made a wish and blown out the candles.
艾琳抵達慶生會時,艾德已經許完願並把蠟燭吹熄了。

 

1. origin n. 起源
originate vi. 發源,起源
originate in / from…  起源自……
‧ I am currently researching the origins of jazz music.
我目前正在研究爵士樂的起源。
‧ Automobiles originated in the 19th century.
汽車源自於十九世紀。

2. weird a. 奇怪的,奇異的
‧ Amy knows she’s addicted to shopping because she feels weird if she doesn’t go out and buy things.
艾咪知道自己是個購物狂,因為她不出門買東西就會覺得怪怪的。

3. light vt. 點燃
三態為:light, lit / lighted, lit / lighted。
light up… / light… up  點燃∕點亮……
‧ Fireworks lit up the night sky during the New Year’s celebrations.
在新年慶祝活動時,煙火照亮了夜空。

4. accessible a. 可得到的,可接近的
‧ The theater is accessible to people with physical disabilities.
這家戲院可讓身障者入內觀影。

5. ingredient n. 食材;成分
‧ This dish is made from the best ingredients.
這道菜是用最上等的食材烹調的。

6. symbolize vt. 象徵
= be symbolic of…
symbolic a. 象徵性的
‧ The red rose in this poem symbolizes the man’s heart.
這首詩中的紅玫瑰象徵這名男子的心。

7. superstition n. 迷信
superstitious a. 迷信的
‧ Due to an age-old superstition, the number 13 is seen as bad luck in Western cultures.
由於一個古老的迷信,十三這個數字在西方文化中被視為厄運。

8. resemble vt. 與……相像
= take after…
‧ Though they are twins, the girls barely resemble each other.
雖然這兩個女孩是雙胞胎,卻長得幾乎不像。

9. affordable a. 負擔得起的
‧ The price of this car isn’t too high. It is quite affordable for us.
這輛車的價格不會太高。我們還負擔得起。

10. reflect vt. 反映;反射
‧ Emily’s tastes in music reflect her unusual personality.
艾蜜莉對音樂的品味反映出她與眾不同的個性。

take on…  呈現……(某種樣子、外觀、顏色等)
‧ Roger took on his father’s good looks as he grew into a teenager.
隨著漸漸長大成為青少年,羅傑開始具有父親帥氣的外貌。
————————————————————————-
以下是 “take on…” 的其他常見用法:
a. 表「帶有∕具有……(某種神情、性質、特徵等)」。
‧ Alan’s face took on a horrified expression when he heard the bad news.
艾倫聽到那個壞消息時露出了震驚的表情。
b. 表「接受……(任務、工作、角色等)」。
‧ Do you think you can take on the challenge of doing the project alone?
你認為你能接受挑戰、獨自負責這項專案嗎?
c. 表「承擔……(責任、職務等)」。
‧ I don’t think Jerry can take on any more work at the moment.
我認為傑瑞這個時刻無法承擔任何更多的工作了。
d. take on sb 表「僱用某人」,此處的 take on 等於 hire。
‧ My company is going to take on 10 new staff this year.
今年我們公司要僱用十名新員工。
e. take on sb 亦可表「接受某人的挑戰;與某人比賽∕較量」。
‧ Paul will take on Alexander in the wrestling competition on Sunday.
保羅和亞歷山大會在週日的摔角比賽中較量。

Some people say it started with the Greeks… Others believe it began in Germany… Still others suggest it originated as a Swiss superstition…
以下介紹一些常用的代名詞用法:
some… others… still others…  
一些……一些……另一些……(用於非限定的三個群體)
‧ Hobbies vary with people. Some like to go to the movies, others like to go shopping, and still others like to stay at home and relax.
嗜好因人而異。有些人喜歡看電影,有些人喜歡逛街,還有些人喜歡待在家裡放鬆。
some… others…  
一些……另一些……(用於非限定的兩個群體)
Some people don’t eat seafood, while others don’t eat meat of any kind.
有些人不吃海鮮,而有些人則不吃任何種類的肉。
some… the others…  
一些……其餘……(用於限定的兩個群體)
Some of the dogs in the pet shop are small, while the others are quite large.
那間寵物店裡的狗有些體型很小,其餘的則很大。
one… another…  
一個……另一個……(用於非限定的兩者)
‧ Every person has a favorite season. One might like summer, while another enjoys winter.
每個人都有最喜歡的季節。有人可能喜歡夏天,而有人可能喜歡冬天。
one… the other…  
一個……另一個……(用於限定的兩者)
‧ Kent has two sons. One is a teacher, and the other is a soldier.
肯特有兩個兒子。一個是老師,另一個則是軍人。
one… another… the other…  
一個……一個……另一個……(用於限定的三者)
‧ Ed has three vehicles. One is a van, another is a jeep, and the other is a sports car.
艾德有三輛車。一輛是廂型車,一輛是吉普車,還有一輛是跑車。
the former… the latter…  前者……後者……
‧ That is Larry and Bobby. The former is my brother, and the latter is my cousin.
那是賴瑞和鮑比。前者是我哥哥,後者是我的表弟。

 

祝你生日快樂!
  

  當你停下來思考一下,會發現生日蛋糕的點子有點奇怪。不,蛋糕本身並不奇怪。畢竟,用烘焙食品來慶祝特別的場合並不是件新鮮事 —— 想想看中秋節的月餅或是感恩節的南瓜派。生日蛋糕的不尋常之處在於在蛋糕上插上點燃的蠟燭。
  慶祝生日的概念可以追溯至古埃及人。法老將他們的加冕儀式視為自己作為神的「誕辰」。將蛋糕加入其中的正是希臘人和羅馬人。希臘人用蛋糕來慶祝他們的神祇,而羅馬人則在特別的生日那天提供甜麵包。然而,這種甜點直到十七世紀才呈現出現代的形式:帶有糖霜和裝飾的分層蛋糕。很長一段時間,生日蛋糕僅有富人才負擔得起,但當食材的價格於工業革命期間下降時,大眾都買得起生日蛋糕了。
  將蠟燭放在蛋糕上的起源並不是那麼清楚。有人說是從希臘人那裡開始的,他們為月亮女神阿提米斯的蛋糕放上點亮的蠟燭。火焰是要象徵月亮的光輝。有些人認為它始於德國。1746 年,一個為路德維希.親岑多夫伯爵舉行的派對被描述為:包括一個上面有代表他年齡數量蠟燭的蛋糕以及在蛋糕中間另加一根蠟燭。還有一些人認為它起源於瑞士的迷信,認為壽星必須吹滅裝飾在蛋糕上、代表自己年齡的蠟燭。不論是何地開始的,蛋糕上的蠟燭現在是生日派對上的基本款。
————————————

1. 作者在第一段對生日蛋糕有什麼暗示?
(A) 生日蛋糕不像月餅那樣好吃。
(B) 蛋糕最近才被用於慶祝活動中。
(C) 將點燃的蠟燭放在甜點上是一種奇怪的做法。
(D) 南瓜餅是作者嚐過最奇怪的味道。
————————————

2. 根據本文,生日蛋糕從什麼時候開始近似於現代的版本?
(A) 在古埃及。
(B) 在十七世紀。
(C) 工業革命後。
(D) 在羅馬時期。
————————————

3. 工業革命對生日蛋糕有什麼影響?
(A) 工廠能夠大量生產蛋糕。
(B) 人們有更多空閒時間為子女烤蛋糕。
(C) 蛋糕的食材對每個人來說變得比較負擔得起。
(D) 盒裝蛋糕材料的發明使得烘焙對所有人來說更加簡單。
————————————

4. 為什麼希臘人把蠟燭放在蛋糕上?
(A) 它起初是一種迷信的做法。
(B) 蠟燭反映出他們神祇的年齡。
(C) 蠟燭讓他們在吃蛋糕之前為蛋糕保溫。
(D) 蠟燭的光輝象徵月亮。
答案:
1. C 2. B 3. C 4. D

 
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