a day for the chinese-ness in me: Laba Festival


I guess you know you don’t have a life when you’re writing a blog post about congee… 😀

Yesterday was 腊八节, Laba Festival, a Chinese traditional holiday that my family celebrates every year.  It is on the eighth day of the twelfth month on the lunar calendar. On this day, my family goes to temples to worship, and then we eat Laba congee.

Growing up in a Buddhist family, I love going to temples . I’ve been to temples in Japan, in Malaysia, in Thailand, in South Korea, in China, and now, in Canada.

image from online

Something about temples make me feel peaceful. Nobody speaks loudly, there’s the smell of incense, and one difference between Christian churches and Buddhist temples is that in temples, the Buddhas are in different rooms/sections, so you have to go outdoors to get from room to room. The cold air, the sound of monks chanting and the smell of incense make me feel so conscious of my existence, yet meanwhile so unconscious of the mundane details that usually weigh me down. I guess I feel closer to something great.

bamboo shoots.

Now, about the congee- it’s a congee that contains many kinds of rice, beans, dried fruit and lotus seeds, etc. And it tastes amazing. It tastes like remembering the title of a song you’ve been humming for days. It tastes like visiting your grandparents for the first time in a whole year. It tastes like a sense of belonging that doesn’t take too much to obtain.

I’ve missed that.

take me back.gif


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