In an old residence of a general, there is a stone tablet high above the door on which there is written "聊以拟伏腊".What does that mean?
The following is given by the AI ChatGPT that goes viral recently around the world, but I am not sure if it is reliable. In my opinion, 伏might mean the hot summer whereas 腊 the cold winter. I also want to know why the general put such a sign over his door. If it is made in English what words could be used to carry the same implication?
The characters "聊以拟伏腊" are in classical Chinese, and their meaning may not be immediately obvious to those who are not familiar with this language. One possible interpretation of this inscription is that it is a poetic phrase that describes the scene of winter. In this interpretation, "拟" means "to imitate" or "to resemble," "伏" means "to hide" or "to conceal," and "腊" refers to the twelfth month of the lunar calendar, which corresponds to December or January in the Gregorian calendar. The phrase "聊以拟伏腊" can then be translated as "Let us imitate the hiddenness of winter." Another possible interpretation is that the phrase is a play on words, where the characters are homophones for another set of characters with different meanings. In this interpretation, "聊以拟伏腊" sounds similar to "了一匹马, 富贵在" which can be translated as "owned a horse and became rich and prosperous". Without more context, it's difficult to determine the intended meaning of the inscription with certainty.