Saturday is the eighth day of the 12th lunar month on the traditional Chinese calendar. And it's the Laba Festival, which marks the official start of the Spring Festival.
Chinese celebrate the day by eating Laba porridge, which is made with rice, nuts, cereals and dried fruit. People in Shanghai got up early to queue outside restaurants, waiting for a bowl of steaming porridge. Millions of housewives also got up early to prepare the ingredients to make the treat.
According to legend, the founder of Buddhism, Sakyamuni, fainted from hunger and exhaustion during his journey to find virtue. He was saved by a passing shepherdess who fed him porridge. Sakyamuni then went on to become Buddha on the eighth day of the 12 lunar month, which falls on Saturday this year.
(CCTV January 4, 2008)