Home : Beijing Facts : Feature :

Chinese Laba Porridge

The porridge here refers to a special one: La Ba Zhou. In Chinese, La means the 12th lunar month, Ba means eight and Zhou means porridge. La Ba Zhou refers to a kind of porridge which is served on the 8th day of 12th lunar month.

To make La Ba Zhou, you need many nutritious ingredients besides rice, such as glutinous rice, millets, peanuts, chestnuts, Chinese dates, lotus seeds and red-beans. The ingredients of La Ba Zhou vary in different places but there is one thing for sure: everyone wants it to be a little sweet.

There are several stories why people have this porridge on this particular day. The most popular one goes like this: It came from India. It was said that Sakyamuni once fell down in a faint when he was traveling around India. A shepherdess saved him and fed him with her meal which was a kind of porridge made of rice, glutinous rice and fruit picked in mountains. Sakyamuni recovered soon and attained his Buddha hood on the 8th day of the 12th lunar month. Since then his followers began to make this porridge to commemorate this shepherdess. As Buddhism spread more widely, La Ba Zhou became civilian.

The history of La Ba Zhou in China could be traced back to over one thousand yeas ago. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) the Emperor granted it to his officials and each monastery on that very day. Common people made it as sacrifices to their ancestors. They also entertain their friends and guests with it. This has been preserved till today in many parts of China.

  • China Tours
  • Early Bird Booking

Comments and Questions