Laba Rice Porridge Festival is traditional Chinese festival celebrated in the month of January. Chinese follows a system of eating the Laba rice porridge on this day. Laba Rice Porridge Festival 2011 special Google doodle included the main ingredients used in preparation of Laba rice porridge.
Laba Rice Porridge Festival 2011 doodle is designed in a way , all alphabets in the Google doodle is written with ingredients for laba rice porridge. Main ingredients of laba rice porridge are glutinous rice, red beans, millet, Chinese sorghum, peas, dried lotus seeds, red beans and some other ingredients, such as dried dates, chestnut meat, walnut meat, almond, peanut.
Porridge is delicious as well as nutritious. It contains amino acid, proteins and vitamins. Due to these reasons it is also called babao porridge which means eight treasures.
La in Chinese means 12th lunar month and Ba means eight. Laba rice festival is celebrated in the eight day of 12th lunar month of Chinese calender. About 3000 years ago sacrifitial rites were held in the 12th lunar month.
There are many stories in relation with the origin of this festival. One legend about the festival is related to life of Sakhyamuni,the founder of Buddism got enlightment on the eight day of 12th lunar month.So every year in temples, sutras were chanted on this day and rice porridge were prepared and distributed among the devotees.
Another legend is that, One day Sakhyamuni in his way to high mountains became tired and unconscious due to his restless journey. Then an shepherd girl found him and gave him rice porridge. After having the rice porridge he got the energy and continued the journey and received the enlightement. All these beliefs gave Laba rice porridge a great importance in Chinese culture.
Though the porridge originated as a part of custom, now it is a common dish in Chinese menu in winter season as it has the functions of strengthening the spleen and soothing the nerves.