Chinese New Year Chinese Laba Festival

Chinese Culture for Kids series features Chinese Laba Festival!

Chinese Laba Festival | Miss Panda Chinese

Image courtesy: WeChat Shishishishi


Happy Chinese Laba Festival 臘八節!  Do you know Laba Festival is the day that Kicks off the Preparation for the arrival of the Chinese Lunar New Year?

Chinese Laba festival falls on January 24 in 2018.  Laba = 臘八 La – is the 12th month of the lunar calendar. Ba – is the number 8.  Laba is celebrated on the 8th day of the twelfth month on the Chinese lunar calendar.

Traditionally, on the day of Laba people will have 臘八粥Là bā zhōu = Laba congee or Laba porridge.  Having Laba congee on this day is an over 1,000-year-old tradition in China. It is also a day to share. In ancient time Chinese people would cook Laba congee to share with the poor because it was near the end of a year and many ran out of rice and grains for meals.  臘八粥Là bā zhōu is also called 八寶粥Bā bǎo zhōu = eight treasure porridge.  It has the symbolic meaning of auspicious. 

Are there 8 different ingredients in Laba congee?  Not really.  Listed below is a general recipe from a southern region of China.

  1. Glutinous rice 糯米
  2. japonica rice 粳米
  3. black rice 黑米
  4. longan 桂圓
  5. red beans 紅豆
  6. lotus seeds 蓮子
  7. peanuts 花生
  8. dates 紅棗
  9. millet 小米
  10. sugar 

Laba day indicates the beginning of the preparation for the arrival of the Chinese Lunar New Year! 

Check out the videos below to see what the Laba Festival is like in China and the legend behind this festival.

Chinese Laba Festival | Miss Panda Chinese

After Laba day, many Chinese will start the tradition of deep cleaning of the house and set up the Lunar New Year decorations.

Let’s take a look at videos of how Laba Porridge is made, how Chinese celebrate Laba by sharing this special dish, and a story of the origin of Laba Festival.

Making Laba Porridge on Laba Festival.  (Audio in Mandarin Chinese)

News feature on Laba Festival.  (Audio in English)


The legend about Laba Festival.  (Audio in Mandarin Chinese)


Exploring More Resources in Chinese for Kids Chinese New Year Series

Teaching Resource: 12 Chinese Animal Signs Activity & Culture Learning Unit

Teaching Resource: Greetings & Crafts Learning Unit

Teaching Resource: 12 Chinese Animal Signs Posters Learning Unit

 12 Chinese Lunar New Year & Culture Books

  Make a Chinese New Year Lucky Word Sign Fú Craft

 Chinese New Year Lantern Festival Riddle Game Printable

  Chinese New Year Classic Greeting Coloring Pages

Chinese New Year Let’s Make Dumplings A Must-Have Recipe

Winter Solstice Dōng Zhì Festival

Chinese New Year Laba Festival

Teaching Chinese New Year Greetings and Crafts | Miss Panda Chinese

Teaching Chinese New Year Greetings and Crafts | Miss Panda Chinese

Love to read more Chinese teaching resources from Miss Panda? Sign Up for Email Updates:

  1. This is a very lovely tradition. The Laba congee looks very delicious and it is something that I would be interested to try. This is the first time that I have ever heard of such a culinary tradition for Chinese New Year as the Southern Chinese have different traditions and I am of Southern Chinese descent. I also believe that every region in China have their own traditions. In any case, I wish you a very happy, wonderful, healthful, and prosperous Year of the Ram! Cheers!

  2. Another great book for Chinese meals is “Brandon Makes Jiao Zi” by Eugenia Chu.

  3. Happy Laba Festival!

Leave a Reply