The Chinese New Year is a unique spectacle for many an individual, as it helps connect people with their families, and re-enact centuries of tradition. While there are many rituals and traditions followed, many have changed over the years due to economic and social reasons. However, one such tradition that has not changed over the years is the tea offerings and the etiquette that comes with it. With colourful decorations come a burst of flavour too, making it a unique experience that many people wait for every year.
The celebration of the Chinese New Year has many origins, and has been debated by others. However, many often trace the celebration of the Chinese New Year back to 3rd millennium BC China. As a result, the new year is depicted with a special animal that repeats in a 12-year cycle. Namely, the Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, and Dragon. Each animal having special omens. Regardless of the different omens and the changing of the animals, celebrations such as tea etiquette has stayed the same in many eastern cultures and has now become quite a spectacle even in North America and Europe. This can be attributed to the respect of the traditions the older generations pass down to the younger.
The tea etiquette in the festive time gives the Chinese New Year great meaning, as it gives the younger generation the chance to appreciate the older generation with a refreshing cuppa. It also works in the opposite direction, as the elders also make it a point to give something to the young. Most often than not, it is often money or something that would delight the young folded in a red envelope. The tea etiquette starts early in the morning when the young would select some favourite treats and offer them in a ceremonious manner, with tea as the main element.
Unique tea selection
The tea selection varies and depends on certain preferences. However, there are notable types that have been used over the ages. Such variants include black teas, oolong teas, and puers (shu cha). Moreover, the leaves chosen are of the highest quality, which Zesta are proud to provide during this time of festivity. Our Large Leaf Black Tea OP, and Tie Guan Yin (Oolong tea) are perfect for the traditional tea ceremonies accompanied with the dried and candied fruits to the elders.
Connecting with your loved ones
At the end of the day, tea etiquette in the Chinese New Year is still practiced today because of how it brings families and people together, regardless of their age. Whether the festive season occurs in a time where you and your family are going through some hardship, resentment, misunderstandings, or even hatred, the tea etiquette is a symbolic tradition that ushers in the new year, a new spring to start things anew and forget about what has happened.
The Chinese New Year is a myriad of traditions filled with pageantry, cuisine, togetherness, and of course tea!