Eat laba porridge
Laba Festival, which falls on January 13 next year, is a Buddhist holiday, and is also one of the historically coldest days of the year. To celebrate this fest, which commemorates the day Buddha attained enlightenment, head over to Yonghegong Lama Temple where steamy bowls of laba porridge will be served. The porridge is made from rice and beans and is often sweetened with nuts and dried fruit. Every year on this holiday, many of China’s temples are open to the public and have bowls of the hearty, healthy congee on offer but Lama Temple’s will be Beijing’s largest gathering. If you and your family love getting into the Chinese holiday spirit, but feel like skipping the crowds this year, try making a batch of laba porridge at home. Look for mixes in your local grocery store labeled with its more common Chinese name labazhou 腊八粥.