China celebrates first International Tea Day
May 21 this year marks the first International Tea Day, which was designated by the UN on Nov 27, 2019.
As a large producer of tea in the world, China began tea consuming about 5,000 years ago and is a home to a variety of teas.
To celebrate the festival, a series of events took place at the Chinese Businessman Museum in Beijing on Thursday.
Guided by the China NGO Network for International Exchange, the event was jointly launched by the China Culture Promotion Society, the Tea Road (China) Cooperative (TRC) and the China Chamber of Commerce of I/E of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products (CFNA). It also received support from about 50 embassies and tea-related organizations, including the Mongolian Embassy in China, China Tea Science Society, European Tea Association and 30 cities at home and abroad, such as Moscow and Melbourne.
The FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea delivered congratulations to the event and praised the organizers' efforts to promote the tea industry development between countries and regions.
Wang Shi, chairman of the China Culture Promotion Society, addressed the opening ceremony.
"As a main promoter of the International Tea Day, the birthplace of tea and the largest tea-producing country, China has a responsibility to work with peers in the world to promote the healthy and sustainable development of the tea industry and exchange of tea culture. It can help to build a community of shared future for mankind," Wang said.
At the ceremony, TRC's executive chairman Guo Jie issued the "First International Tea Day Tea Road Cooperative (Beijing) Initiative" on behalf of the organizer at the ceremony. The initiative calls for people working in the tea industry to come together to uphold the purpose of International Tea Day, and promote international cooperation and cultural exchanges for a better life in the future.
Cao Derong, president of CFNA, responded positively to the initiative and said the process of integrating Chinese tea with the international market will be accelerated, with more help provided to the tea industry in developing countries.
A four-year tea promotion -- International Tea Day Tea Road Cooperative Plan -- was also launched at the ceremony in response to the initiative. The plan includes the Tea Road Cooperative's Tea Farmer Support Program, and China-Mongolia-Russia Tea Road Cooperative City Cooperation Conference. The plan aims to promote China's tea industry's new development and international cooperation. Many cities in China, Russia and Australia have joined the plan.
To strengthen the connection with the youngsters and promote tea among young people, the event included a series of public promotional activities on social media, such as Weibo and TikTok, inviting 29 tea professionals from around the world to have 36 hours of uninterrupted live broadcasts, launching interactive topics such as "International Tea Day, Please Drink This Cup of Tea".
The Chinese Ancient Tea Museum, located on the banks of the Tonghui River in Beijing, was officially unveiled at the ceremony, opening its first exhibition: The Avenue of Truth: A Special Exhibition of Pu'er Tea in the Collection.
The launch ceremony of the event was also set up on the same day in Yichang in Hubei province, Pu'er in Yunnan province, Inner Mongolia, Melbourne and several other places.