Volunteers at the Jade Buddha Temple prepare packed Laba congee for local seniors for the Laba Festival.
Shanghai's iconic Jade Buddha Temple has canceled its traditional mass congee handout for the Laba Festival on Monday, but thousands of local seniors still received their bowl.
Laba, the eighth day of the 12th month on the Chinese year, is a time of giving. It has been celebrated for about 1,500 years.
The temple delivered 3,000 bowels of Laba congees to citizens and nursing home residents in Putuo, Jing'an, Hongkou, Yangpu and Changning districts.
Monks and volunteers also took congee to local hospitals and communities.
The annual event normally attracts tens of thousands of people who believe Laba congee a symbol of blessing from the Buddha.
It was cancelled last year in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The packed Laba congees forto be delivered to local seniors for the Laba Festival today.
The festival is an important event in Buddhism, marking the enlightenment day of the Buddha.
According to Chinese customs, eating Laba congee brings abundance and a good harvest.
Recipes for congee vary, but the traditional dish usually contains grain, dried lotus seeds, longan, ginkgo, dried red dates and other ingredients.
As Laba falls in the last lunar month, it serves as a prelude to the Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls on February 1 this year.
Traditional ingredients for Laba congee.
Editor: Yang Meiping