The Laba Festival 腊八节 is a traditional Chinese Festival. In north China, people call it "腊月八 (là yuè bā)".腊月八 is on the eighth day of the 12th month in lunar calendar, fell on January 13 this year.
——Traditional Laba Festival
I.Why Laba is important?
Spring Festival encompasses the Laba Festival, Little New Year, Lunar New Year's Eve, Lunar New Year's Day, and the Lantern Festival.
Every year, with the coming of the last month of the lunar year, the holiday spirit fills the land. An extended celebration of the Lunar New Year that lasts for several weeks.
Chinese people will start getting busy on going home and doing Spring Festival's shopping.
II. Customs in Laba
Laba Festival falls during the depths of winter, which made it an ideal season for storing food. The harvest is in, and people can turn their attention to preparing and enjoying a wide array of delicious dishes.
1. Laba Congee 腊八粥
It's customary on this day to eat a special Laba porridge, usually made with at least eight ingredients, also called "八宝粥 (bā bǎo zhōu)". It represents people's prayers for harvest.
Laba porridge is also a very nourishing and healthful food. "Increases the life force, produces saliva, nourishes the spleen and stomach, and resolves sweating due to weak constitution or health."
—— by Li Shizhen 李时珍
2.Laba Garlic 腊八蒜
In addition to Laba porridge, many different types of pickled vegetables and special dishes are popular during Laba Festival, including garlic pickled in vinegar and pickled Chinese cabbage.
Another custom is the soaking of Laba garlic. Garlic is soaked in vinegar for twenty days starting from the Laba festival. The garlic and vinegar is then used alongside Chinese dumplings (or jiaozi) around Chinese New Year.
3. Laba Noodles 腊八面
In northern Shanxi Province 陕西省, it is obligatory to eat Laba noodle soup, made with eight different shredded ingredients.
In the Tongguan-Lintong region of Shanxi Province, Laba noodle soup is made with hot chili peppers.
腊八How to make Laba congee?
kidney beans, sorghum rice, barley, longans, oats (avena sativa), rice, millet, peanuts, mung beans and black rice.
1. 15 dried longans are needed. 30g of each of the rest ingredients should be prepared. These ingredients serve 2-3 persons.
2. Except the ingredients mentioned above, some others can also be added to make more tasty porridge, such as lotus, raisins, red dates, red beans, Chinese yam and wolfberry.
Soak the black rice and peanuts for 3-4 hours in advance.
Wish you have a warm and nice Laba festival, and a delicious Chinese food in 腊八节！
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