Yesterday was Laba rice porridge festival in China. This festival has a long history and strong connections with Buddhism. After a brief search online I found that every ingredient in the porridge matters: “The porridge is usually cooked with eight kinds of grains and cereals, together with 18 kinds of nuts and dried fruits, which represent the 18 arhats in Buddhism.”. HERE are some of the pictures of how it looks in modern China.
However, today a lot of people simply refer to it as a day of eating porridge. Many people don’t follow the tradition anymore. It is similar to what is happening with Užgavėnės in Lietuva – lots of people still fry pancakes and some kids still dress up, but, even more people just get busy with their daily lives and forget this celebration. (All of my Sunday students did not eat porridge that day).
One thing I have to say is that I am in love with Chinese porridge and I wish that it was sold back home. Once you enter any supermarket in China, there is at least 2-3 different porridge mixes and the bigger ones offer up to 10 or 15 different porridge choices. China also has porridge restaurants where the main dish they serve is…porridge. Most breakfast places usually offer a few types of porridge too. I searched online but I did not find any articles about it. Maybe I should do a little bit more research. Or …I guess it’s too simplistic to be fascinated by. Well, the porridge usually contains some white and black rice, lots of different kind of beans, sometimes Chinese dates and various dried fruit.
While searching for Chinese porridge, I found a great web page that portrays typical Chinese breakfast: http://www.thekitchn.com/8-chinese-breakfast-treats-143675