Holiday Tea Traditions


Holiday traditions around the globe have been heavily influenced by tea for thousands of years. Each culture has its own unique way of enjoying tea, which often involves different types of teas, brewing methods and accompaniments. Sharing a warm cup of tea is a simple yet meaningful gesture that builds relationships and creates special memories. 

Whether it’s a small gathering of close friends or a large family event, the ritual of tea is an unforgettable moment for all. Tea has a unique power to bring people together and is a delightful way to celebrate the holiday season. So get your teacups ready as we delve into the fascinating world of holiday tea traditions.

Flaming Tea Ceremony

The Russian tradition of celebrating Hanukkah as the Festival of Lights includes a “flaming-tea” ceremony, which celebrates the burning light. It is customary to light a flaming sugar cube during the “Festival of Lights” after it is soaked in brandy in a teaspoon. While the brandy-soaked sugar cube burns, the festive mood soars as everyone sings holiday songs. As the song reaches its crescendo, everyone drops the sugar cubes into their tea glass and drink up.

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Originally, Christmas bowls as they sang in their neighbourhoods. “Wassail” was a unique blend of spices and dried fruits that was infused with ginger, cinnamon, and orange peel to create incredible flavours. There were a lot of Great Tea Parties organized during this time and everyone could attend. These events grew to be more popular than celebrations with alcohol.

Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green
Here we come a-wandering, so fairly to be seen.
Love and joy come to you, and to you a wassail, too.
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year.
God send you a Happy New Year!

With fresh, hot wassail, singing groups went door to door spreading holiday cheer through songs. The practice of afternoon tea evolved from this celebration around drinking and sharing tea.


Chinese New Year Tea Ceremony

A fabled beast known as Nian once arose from the night-time shadows and onto the world. Nian started to hunt people and animals, ruin homes, and cause complete pandemonium. The villagers were defenceless until they learned Nian is terrified of loud noises, fire, and the colour red. And thus, began the tradition of posting red couplets, loud firecrackers and of course the tea ceremony.

Chinese New Year is a special occasion for families to spend time together. People from all around the world flock together to celebrate with their families. Some Chinese families still practice the ancient tradition of the tea ceremony even to this day. The tea ceremony goes that, on the first day of the Chinese New Year, younger family members serve their older relatives a cup of sweet tea and offer New Year’s well wishes.

Chinese New year Tea Ceremony
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Ending Note

With family, friends, and guests around during the holidays, it can be challenging to come up with new things to do. There are only so many cookies you can bake and crafts you can make. When times are tough, it helps to look back to the old ways, make them your own, and let the light shine through.

Creating lasting memories with friends and family over a holiday tea tradition is a wonderful way to savour the season and share a special experience. Explore different holiday traditions and create your own festive traditions to incorporate into your holiday celebrations.


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