The Laba festival is very traditional. Before the Qing Dynasty came to rule China, the festival was merely a celebration of the new harvest. After Buddhism made its entrance, the festival was used as a commemoration of Gautama Buddha’s enlightenment. Ceremonies for the festival were held in the Yonghe Temple in Beijing.
Traditionally, the Chinese consume a type of porridge called Laba congee, which is made of red beans and dried fruit, ingredients common in Chinese cuisine. People then worship the God of Grain by beating an earthen ox with a colourful club. This ceremony is called “Beating Spring Ox”.
Culture plays a very important role in the lives of Chinese people, and the Laba festival only serves to reiterate that. It is sacred to them, like Christmas to Christians and Eid to Muslims.
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