The Laba Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday observed on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month. In China, it is customary on this day to eat Laba Congee. La in Chinese means the 12th lunar month , and ba means eight.
The eight-treasure porridge was first introduced to China in the Song Dynasty about 1000 years ago. When Sakyamuni was on his way into the high mountains in his quest for understanding and enlightenment, he grew tired and hungry. Exhausted from days of walking, he passed into unconsciousness by a river in India. A shepherdess found him there and fed him her lunch porridge made with beans and rice. Sakyamuni was thus able to continue his journey. After six years of strict discipline, he finally realized his dream of full enlightenment on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month.
Ever since, monks have prepared rice porridge on the eve and held a ceremony the following day, during which they chant sutras and offer porridge to Buddha
When talking about "Laba Festival", probably the first idea that most people flash in the mind is "to drink rice porridge". On this day, one of the customs is to eat rice porridge, and Laba Porridge also called Seven-treasures-and-five-tastes porridge. Although materials used in different regions are different. but basically include rice, millet, glutinous rice, sorghum, purple rice, barley and other cereals, soybeans, red beans, mung beans, kidney beans, cowpea and other beans, dates, peanuts, lotus seeds, medlar, chestnuts, walnuts, almonds, Longan, raisins, ginkgo and other dried fruits.
In addition to the rice porridge, because of the differences in customs, geography, climate, different places have their own "Laba porridge ". For example, Xining City Qinghai Province, people do not eat porridge at the Laba festival, but Mai Ren meal. At the night of the seventh day of the twelfth lunar month, the new roller Mai Ren, which is cooked with mutton and beef, and some condiments such as salt, ginger, pepper, tsaoko, and Miao Xiang, and then being simmer through the night, is the delicious cuisine of the Laba festival. In Qinghai legend, people say that the food Gautama Buddha ate before founding the Buddha is MAI Ren meal.
In the Chengcheng area of Weibei, Shaanxi Province, Laba Festival is generally without porridge. On the annual lunar Month Day morning, people eat Laba noodles.
In Hunan, Laba Beans is one of the traditional food, has a few hundred years of history. Many people begin to pickle the beans from LIdong to the lunar 8th. So here comes the name of "Laba beans."Its finished product has a special flavor, and unusually delicious, and therefore they are very popular.
In addition, in the Laba festival, some places such as Guizhou County have to eat Laba tofu; the North has sticky fire spoon habits.
大 米 rice 50g
玉米粒 millet 50g
糯 米 sticky rice 50g
高 粱 sorghum 50g
红 豆 red beans 100g
莲 子 lotus seeds 100g
胡 豆 broad beans 100g
花 生 peanut 100g
板 栗 chestnuts 100g
红 枣 red jujube 100g
干龙眼 dried longans 100g
白 糖 white sugar 适量
（1）将莲子泡入水中，高火1小时，取出代用。 Soak the lotus seeds in a bowl of water, steam at high heat for 1 hour, take out and draw aside for later use.
Peel off the skin of longans and remove the seeds; strip off both outer and inner skins of chestnuts; wash sorghum, red beans, broad beans, peanuts，jujube, rice, millet and sticky rice.
Place sorghum, red beans, peanuts and jujube in a pot, cover with water and cook to half tender.
Add broad beans, rice, millet and sticky rice into the pot, blend well. after boiling, shimmer in low heat until the nuts become tender.
Add steamed lotus seeds and bring to boil. remove from the fire, add white sugar, ready to serve.
✦ 文案： 李思云 强艺杰 王珍
✦ 排版： 焦琛悦 党志华
✦ 校对： 贺茹芸