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潮州孩子“出花园”

文 | 资料取自新加坡潮州文化丛书—《出花园:潮州成人礼》、潮州总会出版物《潮州民俗》

图 | 新加坡揭阳会馆提供

揭阳会馆在出花园仪式中加入给父母敬茶的环节。

中国古礼有“冠礼”与“及笄礼”。《礼记》中的“男子二十,冠而字。”便是男儿20岁时,家人择吉日为他举行“冠礼”。

为父者请来尊辈替儿子戴上成人的帽子,叫做“加冠”。同时给儿子取个“字”,有名有字甚至有号后,表示孩子长大成人。冠礼通常在宗庙举行。至于女孩达15岁时要束发,谓“及笄”。

改良版现代成年礼

“出花园”于清代既已有之。在潮汕地区,人们认为孩子在15虚岁以前,生活在“花公花嫲”保护的花园,因此到了15虚岁,要在七月初七举行出花园仪式,表示走出院墙,进入成人世界。

家人会将三牲果品凑成四件或八件放在竹箕中,由出花园的孩子向花公花嫲的神炉跪拜,并穿红皮木屐跳过竹箕。家里会准备12道菜的丰盛午餐,表示一年到头都幸福。餐桌上有青蒜、葱、芹菜等,寓意与人合作愉快、精打细算、聪明勤奋。男孩咬公鸡头、女孩咬母鸡头。

为什么要咬鸡头?
传说明嘉靖年的潮州状元林大钦,少时家贫只能穿红皮屐上学。一天,有老者在路上以怀中公鸡作赏,邀人对下联。上联是“雄鸡头上髻”,林大钦以“牝羊颔下须”对上,赢得公鸡。他的父亲将鸡烫熟后砍下鸡头奖励他,表示独占鳌头。林大钦后来高中状元,潮州人认为这是个好兆头,便在孩子入学时给他买红皮屐,还给他抱公鸡,并在孩子出花园时,给他咬鸡头。

对现代人来说,21岁的生日庆祝会,也许就是现代版的成年礼。不过,随着新加坡揭阳会馆近年复办集体“出花园”活动,成年礼逐渐在本地兴起。这项活动淡化了以“花公花嫲”为崇奉对象的民间信仰与神话传说,转而以突出潮汕地域特色的现代成年礼方向积极推广。

集体“出花园”活动主要包括礼俗仪式和花园餐宴两部分,即采用“摘红花叶、洗花水、观教育片、着红新衣、穿红皮木屐、拜花公妈、敬茶鲜花”,后行“咬鸡头礼、享花园宴、献感恩卡、颁发证书”的仪规流程。

总体而言,部分民俗礼仪在保留美好寓意的同时有所演变并简化,比如从宗教寺庙转而在会馆及俱乐部举办,改“守日禁”为集体参礼,改沐浴更衣为花水洗脸与换新恤衫,所需用品由会馆统一代办。

有关“出花园”的历史由来、神灵崇祀与各种传说,仪式上没有过多描绘,而是深度刻画与状元林大钦相关的元素,将“咬鸡头礼”、“穿红皮木屐”对青少年“独占鳌头、学业进步”的美好寓意贯穿全程。

揭阳会馆的出花园活动也增添不少新颖形式,如观看宣扬家庭价值观的电视短片、举行美味佳肴的花园餐宴、向父母下跪奉清茶、鲜花及感恩卡、颁发证书给礼成的青少年等。这无疑在为传统活动增强仪式感及引入现代元素的同时,起到对年轻一代灌输孝敬感恩、成年担当与社会责任的教化功能。

“出花园”成年礼虽为潮州族群特有,却不限制参与者的方言籍贯、种族、宗教信仰甚至年龄。自2015年首届活动以来,也吸引了印度族裔、福建族群、不同宗教者,以及来自中国、马来西亚的新移民和外国家庭参与,拓宽了“出花园”的参与者范围和社会意义。

 

出花园传统六步骤

1 择吉时
通常是农历七月初七,这天是“乞巧节”,其寓意在于“巧”字。另一原因是,民间认为这一天是“公婆神”的诞辰。

2 洗花水
讲究的人家要采12对花草泡在温水里,用于出花园当天给孩子沐浴,寓意用芬芳洗去孩子气。澄海、潮安一带用六对花草:榕树枝、龙眼枝、石榴花、桃枝、状元枝、仙草各一对。

3 着新装
在花水中沐浴后,要系上目前手缝的新肚兜,穿上外婆送的新衣和一双红皮屐。穿木屐和咬鸡头,都与潮州状元林大钦的故事有关。

4 拜公婆神
祭拜“公婆神”是出花园仪式的核心环节。祭拜的供品包含了长辈对孩子健康成长及成才的希冀。如:肉丸、猪肝、豆干,取其谐音“官”;韮菜寓意长寿;炒大葱,与“聪”同音;清蒸尖头鱼,表示小孩有心计、有技术;猪肉炒大葱,寓意生活富足等。

5 吃头彩食
有的地方,父母会准备一碗由猪内脏和鸡蛋煮成的甜汤。有的地方,当天要给孩子吃炒猪肠、猪肚,祝贺“换上成人肠肚”,也寓意知书达理,待人有度。

6 守日禁
“出花园”当天,孩子不能出家门。一是要他从这天起不再贪玩,做个循规蹈矩的孩子。二是怕遇到不合宜的人或事,受到“冲撞”,但也有的地方没有这个限制。

 

A coming-of-age ritual for Teochew children

Translation: Tina Sim

The “leaving the garden” ritual has been practised in China’s Chaoshan region since the Qing Dynasty. Parents believe that before children reach 15 years of age, they live in a garden watched over by a caretaker couple. When they turn 15, a ceremony is held to signify their emergence from the “garden” and entry into adulthood.

The Singapore Kityang Huay Kwan’s “leaving the garden” activities has re-generated interest in this ritual. Their activities do not focus on its religious aspects but on promoting it as a coming-of-age ceremony, akin to young people celebrating their 21st birthday.

Many elements of the traditional ritual have been preserved, such as wearing red clogs, offering prayers to the caretaker couple, and a sumptuous feast. Some elements have been simplified. The ceremony is conducted at a club instead of a temple. The newly minted adults meet for a collective ceremony instead of one held at home. The floral bath has been replaced by a face-washing ceremony, and new T-shirts are provided by the association. Also added are elements such as watching clips that promote family values, offering tea to their parents, and writing gratitude cards. It is hoped that this combination of traditional and modern elements will continue to instil values such as filial piety and responsibility.

One traditional element that has been retained is biting the chicken head. According to folklore, when he was a child, Lin Daqin was so poor that he went to school wearing a pair of red clogs. One day, he met an old man who offered a rooster to anyone who could come up with a matching couplet. The first half of the couplet was “The rooster’s comb above its head”. Lin Daqin matched it with “A goat’s beard below its chin”. His father, upon cooking the rooster, gave him the animal’s head, to signal that he would reach a high position. Lin became the top scholar in the imperial exams. Gnawing on a chicken head was thus seen as a good omen for children.

While this ceremony is traditionally a Chaozhou practice, it is not limited to the dialect, race, religious belief or even age of the participants. Since it was first organised by the Singapore Kityang Huay Kwan in 2015, the event has attracted participants from other races and religions, as well as new immigrants.

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