The Etiquette of Tea


Tea is a laudatory title for a little girl. It also has a symbolic meaning of remaining faithfully and unbendingly to marriage. According to the record of “Qixiuleigao” in the Ming Dynasty, there is a paragraph stating that “Once the field has been seeded with tea, it cannot be transplanted lest the plant will be withered. Tea represents a faithful and lifelong marriage. It is a Chinese custom to have tea as a betrothal gift presented to the family of the bride-to-be at the engagement. When a girl is engaged, th rite is called “Taking Tea”.” Another famed book of “Chashu Kaoben” also stated that, “Tea cannot be moved to another field, it can only be planted with unchanging ground. This fascinating nature makes tea a indispensable harmonized gift in an engagement.” Tea plays a very important ceremonial role in the Chinese engagement. The betrothal gift from bridegroom to the family of the bride-to-be is called “Tea Gift”. When the bride-to-be takes this gift, the rite is called “Seeding Tea”, representing the beginning of a faithful and unchanging marriage. It is said that during the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 641), when the Han princess Wen Cheng married to the Tibetan prince, she got along with her lots of tea gifts. This is the earliest historical record about tea and marriage.


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  • Alexandre Zouari
  • Fook Ming Tong