Chinese New Year - Between legends and traditions.
- A single conversation with a wise man is better than 10 years of study - Chinese Proverb
From the 8th of February, and for the following 15 days, the Chinese New Year is celebrated worldwide, and here at PekoeTea Edinburgh we make no exception!
According to the legend, at the beginning of each lunar calendar, a "Year" monster also know as "Nian", a lion headed ox creature, would emerge from the sea to terrorise and harm people and animals and to destroy properties. The "Nian" being afraid of fire, loud noises and the colour red, the Chinese started burning bamboo sticks as whilst so, they produced a loud sound, keeping the monster away from villages!
Amongst all the different traditions, drinking tea has an important social meaning in China. On the first day of the New Year celebrations people are due to visit family and honour the elder generations by serving them ceremonial tea. In exchange, the receivers are to give a red envelope, usually containing money.
Tea has an important role in the Chinese society as a mark of respect for one another, and especially looking at parents and grand-parents.
Every year in Chinese belief, the year is also associated with a zodiac animal. The 12 years cycle starts with the Rat and 2016 being the 8th year of the cycle, is the year of the Monkey!
Green tea drinkers: White Monkey, a sweet and pungent Chinese green tea that has got a refreshing bitterness to it. It would be named after its white leaves' shape that reminds us of monkeys claws...
Black tea addicts: Golden Monkey, Lovely golden colour, full-bodied and syrupy notes from this Fujian Province black (or red) tea! The legend says that trained monkeys would pick the tea humans couldn't access. But legends are only legends... Aren't they?
With the hot weather at the end of June, I have been experimenting with iced tea. Using our Peach Sencha, some freshly grated ginger and some cloudy lemonade I made this really refreshing drink.
It's really easy to make and a great alternative to alcoholic cocktails.