The Laba Festival is a traditional Chinese festival celebrated on the 8th Day of the 12th Month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The festival originated in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and was popularized during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). On this special day, Sakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment.
In celebration of the Laba Festival, Buddhist Temples offer Laba porridge to show their faith in Buddha. This porridge contains glutinous rice, red beans, millet, Chinese sorghum, peas, dried lotus root seeds, dried red dates, chestnut meat, walnuts, sunflower seeds, goji berries and other healthy ingredients. The porridge is a nutritious winter meal full of amino acids, proteins and vitamins – good things people need. The cooked nuts and dried fruits encourage the wellness of the nervous system, nourish the heart, strengthen the spleen and help with vitality.
During the Laba Festival, Shaolin Temple Yunnan offered this porridge to the public and Buddhist followers as a sacrifice to the ancestors. The Temple’s foreign disciples also participated in this enlightening event; both attending ceremonies and helping to distribute porridge.