Happy Laba Festival!

Today in China, is the 8th day of December of the lunar calendar (eighth day of the twelfth lunar month), this day is the traditional “Laba Festival” in China.

The December of the lunar calendar is known as the twelfth lunar month commonly, and the 8th day of December of the lunar calendar is customarily called "Laba", the Laba Festival in China has a very long tradition and history, on that day people to cook and eat Laba porridge is the the most traditional and most luxurious custom all over the country in China.

In China, the history of people eating Laba porridge has lasted for more than one thousand years. Laba porridge also called "Seven Treasures and Five Flavors porridge." The custom was began firstly in the Song Dynasty, and when days come to the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month, whether the court, officials, temples, or common people will cook Laba porridge at home.

In the Qing Dynasty, the custom of eating Laba porridge become more popular. In palace, the Emperor, Queen, Princes and so on will accustomed to largess the civil and military ministers, chamberlains and maids and Laba porridge, and at the same time will distribute rice and fruits to various temples. In folk society, every family will cook Laba porridge and worship their ancestors; The same time, all members of the family will reunite together to eat Laba porridge, as well as presenting Laba porridge to their relatives and good friends.

In China, people cook Laba porridge in different areas has a great variety throughout China, artful and wide variety. Among them, the most daintily pattern is in Peking, where people will mix in more items into the rice, such as red dates, lotus seeds, walnuts, chestnuts, almonds, pine nuts, longans, hazelnuts, grapes, gingko nuts, chestnuts, black hairs, rose, red beans, peanuts ... ... The total variety will no less than twenty. People will getting busy at the evening of the seventh day in the twelfth lunar month, wash rice, soak fruits, peel skins, remove stones, picking and then began to cook in the middle of the night, and then stew the porridge slowly with low fire until the early morning at the next day, at that time the Laba porridge was to be considered finished fully.

Typically, the Laba porridge was been cooked with eight fresh cereals and fruits which harvest on that year, usually are sweet porridge. However, many farmers in the Central Plains area of China are prefer more to cook salty Laba porridge, so in addition to rice, millet, mung beans, cowpeas, red beans, peanuts, jujubes and other raw materials, they will add sliced pork, radish, cabbage, vermicelli, seaweed, tofu, etc. into the Laba porridge..

The Cooking way of Laba porridge:

Ingredients: rice, black rice, glutinous rice, barley, peanuts, red beans, lotus seeds, red dates.


1. Wash all the ingredients, add with sufficit quantum of water;

2. Put all ingredients into an electric pressure pot and steam it for about 35 minutes.

In addition, the "Laba Festival " in China is also the most important festival in the twelfth lunar month, which was know as "La Day in ancient time. " From the Qin Dynasty, the Laba Festival was used to worship the ancestors and gods, as well as pray for good harvest and good fortune. During the Laba Festival, aside from the worship activities, people were accustomed to expel epidemic diseases.

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts

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