- Gordon Dumoulin
Laba Festival... the official prelude to Spring Festival
腊八节 𝗟𝗮𝗯𝗮 𝗙𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹 | 𝗗𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝟯𝟬, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮
The official beginning and prelude of the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) festive period, celebrated on the 8th day of the month of La (臘月), the twelfth month of the lunisolar Chinese calendar. About 3 weeks before New Year's day.
Though the festival has an elder history, Laba Festival was fixed on this day during the Southern and Northern dynasties (420-589), influenced by Buddhism as it is also the enlightenment day of Buddha.
Nutritious Laba porridge is the festive Laba food (also called eight treasure porridge with rice, wheat, corn, chain, barley, beans and others), together with traditional Laba wine made from glutinous rice. Laba porridge is also served in Buddhist temples across China on this day.
Tanzhe Temple in Beijing, 2018
The festival is also about soaking garlic in pots with vinegar, resting for about 3 weeks (turning green), to be consumed together with the Chinese New Year dumplings on Spring Festival day, the first day in the year of the Rabbit on January 22, 2023 😊
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