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Chinese Laba Festivalis Jan 13, 2019 Laba Festivalis a traditional Chinese holiday celebrated on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month. It’s a day for celebrating harvest, offering sacrifices to ancestors, and worshiping gods. But above all, it is a day for cooking Laba Congee, a hodgepodge of grains, beans and dried fruits used to invoke peace and good fortune. A hodgepodge (/'hɒdʒpɒdʒ/) is an untidy mixture of different types of things, a hodgepodge of maps, small tools, and notebooks. Chinese people believe that eating congee (porridge made from rice) during Laba festival will bring good luck. Laba Congeeis infused with Chinese people’s beautiful expectations of a happy life. Folktales abound as to the origins of eating congee during Laba Festival. According to the most famous one, the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang (reigned 1368-1399), used to herd cattle for a rich man. One day, his carelessness caused a leg of one of the cows to be broken. The rich man was so angry that he locked up the culprit in a small room and didn’t allow food to be given to him. After some time, the famished Zhu Yuanzhang found in a corner of the room a rat hole that contained a supply of stolen red beans, rice, red dates and other produce. These he boiled into congee, on which he feasted voluptuously. Because that day was the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month, the emperor Zhu Yuanzhang named the congee Laba Congee.

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