The Eighth Day of the Twelfth Lunar Month in Dingyou Year: Shaolin Temple Widely Dishes Out Laba Congee with Gratitude to All the People for Their Love

发布日期:2018-01-24   字体大小:   

January 24, 2018, the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month, is the traditional Chinese “Laba Festival”. On the same day, it is Buddha’s Day and is also the “Magic Weapon Festival” and “Thanks Giving Day” in Buddhism. On that day, in the form of Laba congee, Shaolin Temple set up congee sites at the entrance of Shaolin Medicine Bureau, sub-temples of Shaolin Temple, Overseas Shaolin cultural centers and so on. Through the activities of dishing out congee widely, carry forward the traditional folk culture and pass on the concept of Buddhist equality, compassion, harmony and ecological protection. 




The scene of Blessing Prayer for Laba Festival in Shaolin Temple



Performing the offerings to the Buddha in Mahaviro Hall



Monks of Shaolin Temple carry porridge



Monks of Shaolin Temple dish out bowls of congee for the public



Presenting Shaolin Temple Masters’ calligraphy and Spring Festival couplets to worshippers


The materials used to make Shaolin Wuxing Laba Rice porridge


The scene of making congee by monks of Shaolin Temple


Shaolin Temple’s foreign disciple dishes out congee for people




Eating Shaolin Laba congee with joy


The Abbot of Shaolin Temple Shi Yongxin talked that most of the materials used to make Shaolin Wuxing Laba Rice porridge are the five cereals which are grown by the Shaolin Temple. Buddhism is a religion that values practice. “In Buddhism, Laba Festival is called ‘Thanks Giving Day’. In order to be grateful to all beings and give back to society, temples have always had the tradition of dishing out Laba congee. In our traditional folk festivals, the Spring Festival is a farewell to the New Year; Mid-Autumn Day is the reunion festival; Qingming is the festival of sacrifice; Dragon Boat Festival is the festival of disease prevention; Laba Festival is the sacrifice of thanksgiving. These festivals are very important days”, said the Great Monk Yongxin. Since the Yuan Dynasty, Shaolin Temple has the tradition of dishing out congee. In 2008, Shaolin Temple formally restored this tradition in many sites, which received wide acclaim from all walks of life.



The scene of dishing out Laba congee of Xuchang Longhua Temple



The scene of dishing out Laba congee of Feng county in Shannxi province



The scene of dishing out Laba congee of Luohe Puzhao Temple



The scene of dishing out Laba congee of Xuchang Baitu Temple



The scene of dishing out Laba congee of Qingfeng Puzhao Temple of Puyang city



The scene of dishing out Laba congee of Lingshi Zishou Temple in Shanxi province



The scene of dishing out Laba congee of Tianjin Panshan Northern Shaolin Temple


In recent years, Shaolin Temple dished out Laba congee not only in Permanent Residence Compound, but also in Dengfeng district, and in the city of Zhengzhou and sub-temples (such as Sanmenxia Kongxiang Temple, Xinmi Chaohua Temple, Gongyi Ciyun Temple, Xingyang Donglin Temple, Xuchang Youhua Temple, Tianjin Panshan Northern Shaolin Temple, Kunming Shaolin Temple, Lingshi Zishou Temple in Shanxi Province, Beijing Lefo Temple, Xingyang Zhougu Temple, Xiaozai Temple of Feng county in Shannxi province, etc.), overseas Shaolin cultural centers (such as Germany Shaolin Culture Center, Austrian Shaolin Cultural Center, Shaolin Temple Cultural Center U.S.A., Shaolin Temple USA, Russian Shaolin Cultural Center, Canadian Shaolin Cultural Center, etc.) and so on. Blessing Prayer for Laba Festival was held to pray for the prosperity of our countries and happiness of our people as well as a favorable weather, which were deeply loved and participated by the local people.



The scene of dishing out Laba congee of Jiaozuo Shifo Temple



The scene of dishing out Laba congee of Xionger Mountain Kongxiang Temple of Sanmenxia city




The scene of dishing out Laba congee of Jiaozuo Yueshan Temple




The scene of dishing out Laba congee of Kunming Shaolin Temple




The scene of dishing out Laba congee of Puti Temple in Shandong province



The scene of dishing out Laba congee of Xingyang Zhougu Temple



The scene of dishing out Laba congee of Austrian Shaolin Cultural Center



The place where Shakyamuni accepted the shepherdess to provide for Buddha——Sujiada Temple of Uruvela village


In addition to commemorating Buddha’s enlightenment, Significance of Laba Festival is also endowed with warmth, completeness, harmony, inclusiveness, good luck, health, cooperation, nutrition, indifference, convenience, gratitude, joy, affinity, etc. It also shows the universal values of sharing and symbiosis between Buddhism and mankind”, “through Laba porridge, essay, micro film, stage play, literary creation, etc. hope that more friends could join us and spread the traditional culture of Laba and positive energy benefitting the public”, said the Great Monk Yongxin. At the same time, he suggested that a series of public welfare activities could be carried out on the day of Laba Festival, such as holding the Laba folk culture festival, respecting the elderly, religious charity activities etc. That will make the Laba Festival a great celebration of the people’s love and gratitude to society. (Written by Zou Xiang, Photos by Wang Haitao, Zhang Hailong and sub-temples)





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