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How Chinese Celebrate Laba Festival?

The Laba Festival is a traditional Chinese festival celebrated on the eighth day of the twelfth month of the lunar Chinese calendar. On this day, Chinese people would eat Laba Porridge customarily, praying to heaven and earth for good harvest for crops and good luck for families. This tradition was passed down from generation to generation year after year. Therefore, many Chinese would particularly eat this porridge on this special day. To them, the day of the Laba Festival would be incomplete without eating Laba Porridge. If your China tours just fall onto this festival, you may see the how Chinese celebrate it.

 

 

When is Laba Festival?

The Laba Festival is celebrated on the eighth day of the twelfth month of the lunar Chinese calendar. The Laba Festival of 2013 falls onto January 1st in 2014.

 

History of Laba Festival

The day for celebrating the Laba Festival is not fixed until the Southern and Northern dynasties in ancient Chinese history, when it was influenced by Buddhism and got a fixed time on the eighth day of twelfth month in Chinese lunar calendar. Therefore, many customs of the Laba Festival are related to Buddhism. Before the Qin Dynasty, Laba festival was celebrated for the new harvest. In the Qing dynasty, celebration of Laba festival would be held in the Yonghe Temple in Beijing ceremoniously.

 

Custom of Laba Festival

 

The predominant custom for Laba Festival is to eat Laba Porridge, a traditionally must-eat on this festival. The custom was originated in the Song Dynasty and became popular in Qing Dynasty, which has a history of more than one thousand years. Tasting the authentic Laba porridge on this festival never fails to be a great experience on your China tour of Chinese culture discovery.

Ingredients of Laba Porridge

 

The ingredients of Laba porridge are diversifed, all of which are full of nutrition., spanning from glutinous rice, oats, corns, soy beans, mung beans, kidney beans, to chestnuts, almonds, peanuts, bean curd and meat. Sometimes, melon seeds, lotus seeds, pine nuts, sugar and other dried fruits are also added to make it more savory. As time goes by, the cooking method of Laba Porriage have developed a lot in the passing decades, while the main cooking method of boiling keeps the same. Now, Laba porridge is deemed as a very nutritious food in winter, which is highly favored by the old and the young, men and women throughout China.

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