Laba Festival, Laba Porridge!

the eighth day of the last lunar month

26th January 2018



Laba Festival, a traditional Chinese festival, celebrated each year on the eighth day of the last lunar month. The 12th lunar month is called 'La' in Chinese and eight is pronounced 'ba', which is how the name 'Laba' was derived. 

Laba Festival, Laba Porridge!-1


Origin of Laba


Back to the ancient time, farmers find themselves nothing to do at the 12th lunar month as harvest is already over, so they choose to hunt. The prey can not only make up for grain shortage, but also sacrifices ancestors and gods for a blessed year and longevity. There’s another saying goes that Laba is related to Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism. In the 6th year during his religious doctrine cultivation, hunger brought from meditation has almost beaten him up. Coincidentally, on the fringe of giving up he came across a shepherdess who kindly offered some milk gruel, after finishing the meal he sat cross-legged under a banyan then finally attained enlightenment and became a Buddha at the eighth day of the last lunar month.

Laba Festival, Laba Porridge!-2

Laba Festival, Laba Porridge!-3


Laba Festival - Eating Custom


Laba Porridge

Laba Festival, Laba Porridge!-4

臘八粥是由糯米,紅豆,小米,高粱,豌豆,幹蓮子,紅豆等煮成的,還可以加一些食材比如幹棗,栗子肉,核桃肉,杏仁,花生等, 實際上是把八種東西放在一起然後加糖煮,製造獨特美味。北方人喜歡加糯米,紅豆,紅棗,蓮子,龍眼肉幹,核桃,松子等乾果,南方人則喜歡用米,黃豆,花生,蠶豆,芋頭,荸薺,核桃,蔬菜和肉丁做成鹹粥。在北方,這算是一道加糖的甜點; 而在南方則是在粥裏放鹽。有些人還喜歡加肉桂和其他調味品來調味。

Laba rice porridge is made up of glutinous rice, red beans, millet, Chinese sorghum, peas, dried lotus seeds, red beans and some other components, this kind of as dried dates, chestnut meat, walnut meat, almond, peanut, and so forth. In fact there are eight substances utilized, cooked with sugar to create the unique porridge tasty.

Laba Festival, Laba Porridge!-5

People in the north like to use glutinous rice, red beans, dates, lotus seeds, dried long'an pulp, walnuts, pine nuts as well as other dried fruits in their porridge; however, people in the south like a salty porridge with rice, soybeans, peanuts, broad beans, taro, water chestnuts, walnuts, vegetables and diced meat. Within the north, it is a dessert with sugar extra; while in the south, salt is put in. Some people prefer to add cinnamon and also other condiments to add flavor.

做臘八粥最重要的是控制火候。 一開始用大火,然後關火讓粥慢慢燉,直到散發誘人香氣。

The most important thing in making Laba porridge is controlling the heat. At the beginning, the flame should be high, but the fire is then turned down to allow the porridge simmer until it begins to emit a scrumptious smell.

Laba Festival, Laba Porridge!-6


For it contains ample amino acids, protein, vitamins and other nutrition, the Laba porridge is not only simple to prepare, but also a nutritious winter food. Cooked nuts and dried fruit are great for calming nerves, nourishing one's heart and vitality, and strengthening the spleen. Perhaps that is the reason why it's also known as Eight Treasure porridge.

Share to