Tea Drinking in China: A Long-Standing Tradition
The origin of tea traces back to the ancient Chinese. The tradition of drinking tea has been recorded in China over 3,000 years ago. In ancient times, it was believed that drinking tea gives one strength and courage to face life's challenges. Today, one can still find this custom at Chinese weddings where guests gather around a table and enjoy the steaming cups of tea together as they celebrate their love for each other.
Tea symbolizes harmony in Chinese weddings
In the wedding ceremony, Chinese tea is served by the bride's family to the groom's family to welcome them into their home. The tea is a symbol of peace and harmony between families and represents a new beginning for the newlyweds.
Tea brings good luck in Feng Shui
Tea is also used in Feng Shui. It is ideal for the area where you want to accumulate wealth and good luck, because of its association with water.
It is believed that the best time to brew tea is on the full moon, when there is no water to disturb it, and when the moon is at its fullest point. This ensures that you will be able to enjoy your drink without any accidents happening, such as spilling or burning it. Fresh flowers are also placed in the teapot, so that they can be smelled while drinking tea and these flowers are believed to bring positive energy into the home and to help stay positive throughout the day.
Healing benefits of tea in Chinese medicine
Tea is believed to be a cure for many ailments and is an integral part of the Chinese diet. Tea before 8th century BC China was primarily used as medicine. It is linked to several health benefits such as antioxidants, anti-inflammation, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-obesity.
In traditional Chinese medicine, tea is believed to activate different “meridian” systems, or. channels of the body where energy (‘qi’) flows.
Serving tea as a sign of respect
Serving tea to a guest is considered a gesture of respect in traditional Chinese culture. By providing a cup of tea to an elderly person, a younger gestures of reverence and gratitude. This is particularly typical for significant occasions like birthdays or the Spring Festival.
Different tea customs in Chinese religions
Various people with distinct living patterns, food habits, faiths, and cultures have quite different tea-drinking traditions. For instance, Chinese tea arts include customs, symbolism and traditions of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, adhering to the corresponding religious morals and behavior standards.
Drinking tea is considered as self-cultivation by Taoists and as a means of maintaining the unity of the spirit and the body; by Buddhists, it aids in the comprehension of Zen; and for Confucians, it is a symbol of hospitality and humanistic virtue.
In Chinese culture, tea is more than a simple hot beverage. It is a cultural symbol for the harmony of the body and spirit. There are several meaningful ways tea drinking has permeated their customs, gatherings, and way of life.