The Laba ( 腊八; literally: "Eighth of La") is a traditional Chinese holiday celebrated on the eighth day of the La Month (or Layue 臘月), the twelfth month of the Chinese calendar. It is customary on this day to eat Laba Congee.
Laba congee (腊八粥) is a Chinese ceremonial congee dish eaten on The Laba Festival. The earliest form of this dish was cooked with red beans and has since developed into many different kinds. It is mainly made up of many kinds of rice, beans, peanuts, dried fruit, lotus seeds, etc. Depending on region-based variations in China, it can also include tofu, potato, meat, and vegetables.
Before the Qin dynasty the Laba festival was a celebration of the new harvest.After Buddhism spread to China during the first century CE, the festival was used as commemoration of Gautama Buddha's enlightenment at the age of 35. During the Qing dynasty, ceremonies for the Laba festival would have been held in the Yonghe Temple in Beijing.
After the Laba Festival, the Chinese New Year is approaching and spring is coming.