Children in Nantong celebrate Laba Festival
Children in Chongchuan district, Nantong show off their "double-nine dispelling cold pictures" to welcome the Laba Festival on Jan 19. [Photo/ntfabu.com]
Children in Chongchuan district, Nantong dressed in traditional Chinese clothing and took part in a Laba Festival activity on Jan 19.
The Laba Festival, a traditional Chinese holiday that takes place on the eighth day of the 12th lunar month, falls on Jan 20 this year. On this special day, it is customary to eat Laba congee, or eight-treasure porridge, which is usually made with at least eight ingredients. The dish is meant to represent people's prayers for a strong harvest, happiness, and peace.
During the activity, volunteers from the local community told legends, performed puppet shows, and taught participants a folk rhyme related to the festival.
Children also tried their hands at painting "double-nine dispelling cold pictures," which feature nine plum flowers, each with nine petals.
A volunteer explained that each petal represents one day, and in ancient times, people colored a petal every day starting from the Winter Solstice. When all 81 petals are colored, it means winter has come to an end and spring is around the corner.