The Customs of the Laba Festival


Eat Laba Porridge

Laba porridge, also known as Buddha porridge, is a kind of porridge made of a variety of ingredients. Drinking congee is the main custom of the Laba Festival and originates from Buddhism. Buddha Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha on the eighth day of the twelfth month of the lunar calendar. In order to remember the suffering he had experienced, ancient Indians ate porridge on this day as a memorial. After Buddhism was introduced to China, monasteries have made porridge with grains and fruits to offer to their followers. Year after year, the tradition of making porridge spreads widely from the monasteries to the public. Therefore, in north China, it has become a custom to drink Laba porridge on the day of the Laba Festival.

Pickle Laba Garlic

In north China, it is a tradition to soak garlic in vinegar for the Laba Festival, which is called Laba Garlic. The curing process is easy. Put the peeled garlic cloves inside a jar that can be sealed, then pour in the vinegar, seal the jar mouth and put the jar in a cold place. Gradually, the garlic soaked in vinegar will turn green like emerald.

Eat Ice

A day before the Laba Festival, people usually use steel pots to scoop up water to make ice. When the Laba Festival comes, the ice is cracked into pieces and eaten. It is said that if you eat ice on that day, you will not have a stomachache for a year.

Sun-dry Laba Tofu

Laba tofu is one of the traditional folk snacks in Anhui Province. On the 8th day of the 12th month, every family will sun-dry the tofu, and this sun-dried tofu is called "Laba Tofu". The tofu is hung with a straw rope in a ventilated place to dry, and it will not deteriorate for three months. It can be eaten alone or cooked with meat.