Happy Dragon Boat Festival! | Eco-Cha Teas
Our friend, and go-to teaware vendor for over 20 years, knows that we are always looking for interesting styles of teaware. When he sent us photos of this pretty decorative teapot, crafted in the shape of a swimming fish, only weeks before Dragon Boat Festival, we instantly recognized the cultural significance. To help celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival, we're offering you this special-edition teapot along with 75g of Tie Guan Yin Oolong tea for a limited time!
Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival (端午節) is an ancient traditional Chinese holiday that is celebrated throughout China, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Chinese communities around the world. It's celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. This year, it falls on June 18th.
Cool Fish Teapot
This pot features a unique fish design made of unglazed red clay and is perfect for brewing your favorite loose-leaf oolong or blended teas. The long tail serves as a stylish and ergonomic handle that allows for smooth, easy pouring of your favorite tea from the "mouth" of the fish. The lid is adorned with a smaller fish that provides an easy hold when pouring. It has a capacity of 175ml, which is a standard size for Gongfu style brewing. This method of brewing tea offers the best results for whatever quality loose leaf tea you wish to brew.
A Story of Loyalty
The Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the passing of the historically famous poet and minister Qu Yuan (屈原 c. 340–278 BC) of the state of Chu, during the Warring States period of the Zhou Dynasty. Qu Yuan was a loyal high official but was banished for protesting government corruption. When the Chu capital fell to enemy hands, he took his own life by jumping into a river to drown.
Keep the Fish Away!
Legend has it that the local people who admired him rushed out in their boats to try to save him. It's said that this is the origin of Dragon Boat Racing. When they couldn't find his body, the locals threw sticky rice balls into the river so that the fish would eat them instead of Qu Yuan's body. This is said to be the origin of "zongzi" or sticky rice dumplings, which proliferate in households and local markets around this holiday.
Embodying the Tradition
So, in celebration of trying to keep the fish away from a legendary loyal countryman, we bring you this culturally significant fish teapot! It's a story of loyalty to justice and dedication to keeping local traditions alive in order to enrich our lives and inspire us to do the same. We're offering this unique teapot plus 75g box of Tie Guan Yin Oolong at a special price, but if you want one you better hurry because quantities are limited!
If you're luckily enough to nab one of these teapots, be sure to check out our guide on how to properly prepare and cure your pot for use.
Another Symbolic Meaning
A separate, yet equally significant anecdote to the meaning of this fish teapot is a proverb that our friendly tea ware vendor, and local treasure keeper in his own right, shared with us. He said that the pot is a symbol of the Chinese proverb 魚躍龍門 . Literally, it means "fish jumps dragon gate". Figuratively, it signifies success in the face of extreme challenge. Dragon's Gate is the name of one of the most impressive waterfalls in China. The seemingly insurmountable feats of fish swimming upstream to fulfill their evolutionary duty has thus been inscribed in the ideology of Chinese culture. In sum, it signifies that we are transformed in the process of overcoming the challenges we meet in life.
We are more powerful and dignified as a result of our accomplishments — like fish that resemble flying dragons. So we share this unique teapot with the sentiment that we all have the innate ability to fulfill our potential. Happy Dragon Boat Festival!
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Batch 65 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club was initially sourced by our friend for entry into the largest Oolong Tea Competition in the world. The standard of this competition is a medium/heavy roast, so it requires a significant level of oxidation in processing the tea leaves for optimal results. This is where this batch of tea varies most significantly from the market standard of Taiwan's High Mountain Tea. High Mountain Tea is minimally oxidized and unroasted — offering a fresh green character with a floral bouquet. This batch was not only more oxidized, but also delicately roasted to offer a more balanced, sweeter character with fruity and pastry components to compliment the floral notes.