Chinese Idioms about the Laba Festival

2022-01-10

1.Laba, Laba, freeze jackdaw to death.

It is believed that when Laba comes, the temperature reaches the lowest point of the year, which could even freeze jackdaw to death. In Chinese culture, jackdaw is a kind of bird that is able to survive under extremely frigid weather conditions. Old people state that only drinking Laba porridge can prevent people from freezing during the whole winter.

2.Baby don't cry, we' ll kill the pig after the Laba Festival; Baby don't be greedy, it's New Year after the Laba Festival.

This saying is so graphic that it can be said to be a true reflection of how rural children looked forward to the New Year in the past, and is a collective memory of people in the 1970s. As soon as the Laba Festival is over, it's time for the New Year, so the Laba Festival is the preclude to the Spring Festival. On the Laba Festival in the past, the adults were busy with killing pigs, chickens, slaughtering sheep, pickling bacon, shopping for New Year's goods, and children were happy to have fun and looked forward for a feast. If conditions permit, both adults and children would make new clothes.

3.Half of the Laba porridge is left over and given to chickens, ducks and dogs.

This saying reflects the kindness and rusticity of the people. The local people believe that the chickens, ducks and dogs, the poultry and livestock, have all contributed to the rich life of the year. Therefore, the animals should share the porridge with humans. In fact, this saying reflects the thoughts of farmers who pray for a rich and surplus life in agricultural society. The porridge should be left over and some families even eat the porridge until the 23rd of the month.

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