On the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month, Chinese people have the custom of eating Laba porridge. It is said that Laba porridge came from India. Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, was the son of King Jingfan of kapilawek (now Nepal) in northern ancient India. He saw all sentient beings suffering from birth, old age, illness and death. He was dissatisfied with the theocratic rule of Brahman at that time, abandoned the throne and became a monk. After six years of asceticism, he realized the Tao and became a Buddha under the bodhi tree on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month. During these six years of asceticism, he ate only one hemp and one meter a day. Future generations do not forget his suffering. They eat porridge on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month every year as a souvenir“ Laba became the “Buddha’s road anniversary”.
Laba is a grand festival of Buddhism. Before liberation, Buddhist temples in various places held bathing Buddha meetings, chanted scriptures, and imitated the legend of shepherds offering chyle before Sakyamuni became a Taoist priest, cooking porridge with fragrant Valley and fruit for the Buddha. Laba porridge was given to disciples and good men and women. Later, it became common among the people. It is said that before the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month, monks held bowls and prayed along the street to cook the collected rice, chestnut, jujube, nuts and other materials into Laba porridge and distribute it to the poor. It is said that after eating, you can get the blessing of the Buddha, so the poor call it “Buddha porridge”. In addition, it is said that there is a “food storehouse” for storing leftovers in Tianning Temple, a famous temple in Hangzhou. Usually, the monks dry the leftovers every day and accumulate the surplus grain for one year. On the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month, they cook it into Laba porridge and give it to the believers, which is called “Fu Shou porridge” and “Fu Shou porridge”, which means that they can increase happiness and longevity after eating.
There is also a legend about Laba porridge. When Zhu Yuanzhang was a child, his family was poor and often suffered from cooking. One day, when he came back from herding cattle, he was hungry. Suddenly, he saw a rat hole in the corner of the wall. He wanted to catch rats to satisfy his hunger. Unexpectedly, he took out glutinous rice, millet, soybeans, red beans, wheat grains, peanuts and other things. He washed these grains and boiled them into porridge, and had a good meal. Later, he became an emperor. He ate delicacies all day. He was tired and upset. Suddenly, he remembered the past when he took out rat holes to cook porridge and drink when he was a child, so he ordered people to imitate it. All the officials tasted it together. Because this day is the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month, Zhu Yuanzhang called this porridge Laba porridge. Later, it spread to the people and followed into custom.