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The laba Rice Porridge Festival
Article : Tengxin Lock Industrial Limited CO.,LTD. Date Time : 2018-01-24 PV :

Today is a traditional Chinese “Laba Rice Porridge Festival”. It is celebrated on the 8th day of the 12th month in the lunar Chinese calendar, reminding us that Spring Festival is just around the corner. It's a day when eating porridge is not to be taken lightly. 

The tradition has its roots in Buddhist practices, when on this day large Buddhist temples would offer rice porridge to the poor to show their faith to Buddha. In the Ming Dynasty about 500 years ago, it became such a highly regarded food that emperors would give it to their officials during festival. As Laba porridge gained favor among the feudal upper class, its popularity quickly spread throughout the country. The porridge is a nutrious mix of glutinous rice, red beans, millet, Chinese sorghum, peas, dried lotus seeds, red beans and others. 

Laba Rice Porridge Festival

Since the pre-Qin period, people celebrated on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month to offer sacrifices to ancestors and deities, praying for a good harvest and good luck in the next year. More than the worship, ancient people also held ceremonies to exorcise evils and epidemic diseases on the Laba Festival. In prehistoric times, driving off evil and ghosts was how people practiced medicine. Even today, people in Xinhua County, Hunan Province, still beat drums to expel diseases as a custom on the Laba Festival. Due to similar festival themes and the dates on the lunar calendar, Chinese people have become accustomed to counting down toward the Spring Festival season after the celebration of Laba. 

Laba Rice Porridge

In addition to eating Laba porridge on the Laba Festival, people in some specific areas also make Laba tofu, Laba garlic and Laba noodles to celebrate the festival. For instance, it is a tradition for Han people in North China to soak garlic in vinegar and put them in a big jar on the Laba Festival. The pieces of garlic in vinegar turn green and look like little pieces of jade. On the Spring Festival, people open the jar and eat dumplings with the Laba garlic, which symbolizes a good fortune. As a traditional Chinese festival celebrated by Han nationality, Laba Festival is regarded as the prelude to the Chinese Spring Festival. It falls on the eighth day of the twelfth month of Chinese lunar calendar (usually in January in Gregorian calendar). The twelfth month is called 'La month' and eight is pronounced as 'Ba' in Chinese. So, the festival is thus named. As people make and eat rice porridges to celebrate the day, it is named the Rice Porridge Festival as well.

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