Updates

Annual Laba Celebration

LY-Temple | 2013-01-20 | View: 1540

  

January 19, 2013, the eighth day of the twelfth month on the lunar calendar, is Laba Festival as well as the day of Sakyamuni Buddhas enlightenment. Together with Hangzhou citizens, tourists, pilgrims and lay Buddhist, Lingyin Temple celebrated the day by distributing free Laba porridge to the public, in return for their almsgiving and offering. Celebration was held in order to pass on the traditional folk custom, and also to commemorate a shepherdess who offered Sakyamuni rice porridge with milk, enabling him to attain enlightenment and became Buddha.

January 19, 2013, the eighth day of the twelfth month on the lunar calendar, is Laba Festival as well as the day of Sakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment. Together with Hangzhou citizens, tourists, pilgrims and lay Buddhist, Lingyin Temple celebrated the day by distributing free Laba porridge to the public, in return for their almsgiving and offering. Celebration was held in order to pass on the traditional folk custom, and also to commemorate a shepherdess who offered Sakyamuni rice porridge with milk, enabling him to attain enlightenment and became Buddha.

 

Crowds waiting to receive the porridge from the outside of the temple to the inside of it

 

At the same time, in order to fully utilize the resources of the temple and the overwhelming influence of Buddhism, cultivate healthy and environmental diet, inherit the traditional culture and custom, and push forward the development of city’s Vegetarian industry and the construction of Buddha of China’s southeast, many masters of our temple and two hundred members in the team of Yunlin volunteers were organized walking out of the temple to allot the Laba porridge to citizens. This kind of social charity activity covered twenty porridge distribution spots including seven big districts in Hangzhou, namely, Shangcheng, Xiacheng, Gongshu, Jianggan, West lake, Bingjiang and Yuhang as well as some other welfare institutions, orphanages and nursing homes. Besides, the Lingyin porridge was also handed out to the larger audience, even to the busy cleaning workers, traffic policemen, and taxi drivers in the festival. It would bring them a warm holiday wish for their good fortune. Altogether, about 150 thousand cups of porridge have been distributed, plus the prior ten thousand cups given away to the eight spots, such as welfare institutions, orphanages and nursing homes and so on.

 

 

porridge distribution in the West City Plaza 

Traditional porridge was distributed as a gift (within the temple)

 

The Laba porridge were given to the environmental protection workers

Best of  Laba wishes wish to the high-speed traffic police

 

The Laba porridge and gifts were distriuted to the taxi drivers

 

According to the preliminary statistics, this year the Laba porridge activity of our temple consumed a total of 13 types of ingrediants such as peanuts, red beans, candied dates, longan, red dates, lotus seeds, white kidney beans, ginkgo, glutinous rice and sugar, etc. These matrials amounted to more than 50 tons. The preparation work of Ling Yin Laba porridge activity had began on December 11, 2012, and porridge cooking officially began on 2013 New Year's day.

 

 

The delighted citizens who received the Laba porridge (within the temple)

folks unable to resist taking large moutful of the porridge upon receiving it.

Happiness with Buddha porridge (the West City)

 

After receiving the Laba porridge, good fortune will accompany you. (the West City)

 

Hoping that warmth and positive energy come with the ancient tradition (within the temple)

Ling  Yin Temple's Abbot, Veneraable Guang Quan, told reporters that Ling Yin Temple has hosted the Laba porridge activities for years with the purpose of restoring the people’s enthusiasm for our traditional festivities under the fast-paced modern life, and pray for the people to live peaceful lives and in harmonial society.  At the same time, the activity seeks to induce the feel of gratefulness, to serve the society, to inherit and carry forward the Chinese traditional culture, to share the warmth of the festival, and to promote folk culture in Hangzhou development and social harmony. He hopes that when people enjoy the sweet and glutinous Ling Yin Laba porridge, they can feel the grateful spirit within and do not forget the hard work of the masters and the volunteers who created the warmth--to understand and support the work of the Lingyin Temple.

 

 

Bringing the Buddha porridge back to share with their family (outside of the temple)

 

Affected by happy atmosphere, the pigeons flock and spread their wings (witin the temple)

 

The volunteers of the "Yun Lin Staff" preparing for the porridge activity (in the West City)

 

The volunteers of "the Yun Lin staff" keeping the distribution offorts organized  (in the temple)

 

Note : the origin of the Laba porridge

According to "Fobenxingjijing" records, before reaching the spiritual state of immortal by practicing Buddhism, Shakyamuni Buddha practiced various prevalent approaches to become a Buddha, but these approached can't be comprehended. Finally, he tried six years of austerity, but he received nothing at all, and felt tired, so he gave up asceticism, and accepted the porridge which was offered by the shepherdess, then he gathered his strength. He sat under the Bodhi tree to see truth flash through the mind, and swore that " if I get no enlightenment, I will not leave from this seat", eventually he went to a free way of wisdom, that day happened to be the eighth day of the lunar twelfth month. As Shakya Muni become the Buddha in this day, so the temple used rice, beans and other grains and dates, millet, lotus seeds, dried fruit porridge worship the Buddha. Later, in order to return the support of the believers and the donors, the monks began in the Laba day to send the Laba porridge to the believers and the donors, felt the gratefulness of the Buddha together. Then the Laba porridge customs were gradually prevalent in folk.

Wu Manyun who lived in the Qing Dynasty said, "the Laba porridge from Hangzhou is also called Seven Treasures Porridge, which is offered as vegetarian diet in our temples, now the Laba porridge becomes popular in folk. This shows that the customs of Laba porridge distribution carried by the monks was existed in the early days.

As a traditional festival, the Laba porridge distribution is carried out in order to thank the shepherdess who gave the porridge to Shakya Muni Buddha before he reached the spiritual state of immortal by practicing Buddhism, it embodies that the Buddhist thanks the society and returns grateful spirit of believers and the donors through the Laba porridge distribution, therefore, the Laba Festival is also called the Buddhist thanksgiving day. At the same time the Laba Festival also reflects the simple desire of people to pray for good luck, health and happiness.