Laba holiday in China or the Buddha’s Enlightenment Day

I will continue to talk about the Chinese festivals. In January, the traditional "festival of Laba ‘is held in China, which the Chinese celebrate for 3000 years.

Laba is celebrated in the 8th day of the 12th month in the lunar calendar. ‘Ba’ is a Chinese ‘eight’, and ‘La’ is the name of the twelfth month. Another holiday name – ‘day of enlightenment’.

Laba’s holiday is interesting, first of all, the mixing of the traditions of Buddhism, Confucianism and shamanism. On this day, victims of the ancestors, sky, land and buddha. But it is more considered a Buddhist holiday.

Day of Enlightenment

Buddha Shakyamuni was the son of the king and the heir to the throne. However, in spite of the will of the Father, he left the palace and began to wander in search of teachers who would allow him to get rid of suffering and help others.

According to legend, he practiced asceticism in search of spiritual perfection. Shakyamuni almost did not eat. Finally he decided to abandon food, except for one rice a day. Highly exhausted him found a young girl and fed the porridge from rice with milk. This is a very important point of the legend to which we will later return.

After this, the case of Shakyamuni stopped practicing asceticism and began to meditate under the branches of the Bodhi tree, as a result of which he reached enlightenment and became a Buddha. The eighth day of the twelfth month is considered to be the day of the enlightenment Buddha Shakyamuni.

The origins of the holiday Laba

This holiday existed even before the arrival of Buddhism in China, and even before the emergence of Buddhism at all. Another 3000 years ago it was a ‘harvest festival’, when you gave a tribute to a good harvest last season and prayed for a good yield of next year.

Then this day did not have an exact date. Only with the arrival in China Buddhism began to celebrate it on a specific day of the calendar. Buddhist holiday combined with ancient, and turned out to be a modern "lab festival".

Traditional porridge lab

Recall the story of a girl who fed Shakyamuni. It was this rice with milk who served as the prototype of ‘Pavashi Laba’. This dish comes from India, and in China it has undergone major changes – the ingredients became greater, and the milk disappeared from the recipe. The whole holiday of Laba is built precisely around this porridge.

Casha Laba is preparing from several types of rice, other cereals, nuts and dried fruits. Its recipes exists a great set. It is also called ‘Kasha Babao’, ‘porridge eight jewels’ or ‘Buddhist porridge’.

She is prepared in the morning and bring sacrifice ancestors, Buddha, land and sky. Then her family eaten her. There is a tradition in the holiday of Laba distribute this porridge to the poor, showing his kindness.

Porridge accepted a little do not eat. This custom is a direct consequence of symbolism with harvest. It is impossible to eat the entire harvest, you need to leave it part of sowing. In some provinces, porridge are put on plants, trees and flowers as an offering for the purposes of future harvest.

In every Buddhist temple in China, this day prepares porridge of Laba and distribute everyone. If you are in China on this day, go to the temple and try. This rite for symbolism is similar to the blessing. In Beijing, the main center of the celebration is the Temple of the UNHEGUN, which I recently told in the blog. Even the emperors on this day ate porridge Laba and distributed officials and approximately in the Forbidden City.

Garlic lab

On this day, it is customary to soak garlic in vinegar. His holds so 20 days before the Chinese New Year until he green. In the new year it is eaten if Jiazzi traditional dumplings.

Laba holiday in China or the Buddha's Enlightenment Day

The tradition of grinding garlic is most common in Northeast China. In southern areas (for example, in Shanghai) it is almost never found.

If you got in China for the holiday of Laba

First, it is a good opportunity to eat porridge lab. For this you do not even need to go to a restaurant or cafe, but just look into the nearest Buddhist temple. By the way, Laba Casha has long been a festive dish in China. It is eaten on ordinary days.

Secondly, you can see how the Chinese eat porridge chopsticks for food. Many Russians believe that it is impossible. In fact, leafy is eaten with chopsticks, and liquid drink from a bowl. Do it chinese with ease.

Large parades or concerts on this day are not satisfied, and put your flight to China under this date there is no point.

Day of the holiday Laba

Since the day of Laba is determined by the lunar calendar, then in our Gregorian calendar his date changes every year.

2014 – January 8, 2015 – January 27, 2016 – February 17, 2017 – January 5, 2018 – January 24, 2019 – January 13.

I wish interesting trips to China, and read other blog entries (links below).

Laba holiday in China or the Buddha's Enlightenment Day

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