Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tea Time

For this week's Saturday Snapshot, I am actually doing 3 pictures, but you'll understand why in just a minute.  See, I was browsing through old pictures, and I started looking at some friends' wedding pics.  I went to college with a bunch of awesome folks and we all ended up taking this fantastic class, Chado: The Way of Tea with these wonderful teachers, the Webbs.  Chado, for those who may not be familiar with it, is Japanese tea ceremonies.  The class was taught very well and we all love and respect what those ceremonies mean.  So when it came time for the first of us to get married, Julia decided she wanted to have a tea ceremony as a way of keeping calm and finding focus between getting hair and make-up all done and actually going out there to get married.
 Mischa did Julia's tea ceremony and we kept it rather unstructured as tea ceremonies go.  (Julia is the one in the bathrobe by the pillar, I am just to the left of her, next to me is Amanda)  Surely Jim was in on the Tea action, but being as I don't remember, I shall have to ask him.  This was back in 2003, people.  Anyhow, we all enjoyed the ceremony and the memories it brought back.

In 2007 we all got together for another wedding.  Amanda's this time.
Mischa did Amanda's tea ceremony as well.  We had that one much earlier in the day in the hotel room where all of the women were to get ready.  We actually did that one on the floor as they are normally done, but we did make shift a few things.  Hotel room coffee pot instead of a kettle, etc.  (Julia is taking the picture because she was largely pregnant.  Hmm, perhaps Jim was taking that last picture.  Could be) The ritual was a lovely start to a great day.  Amanda was a beautiful bride and it was wonderful to see all those friends again.

And then I was about to get married.  So of course I wanted to have a tea!!
Mischa couldn't make it to my wedding, so Amanda performed my tea ceremony.  We used a lot of tea utensils that my sister had brought me back from Japan and Julia (once again largely pregnant) had bought me tatami beach mats to lay out like an actual tea room.  Jim and Derrek brought fabulous mochi and other sweets that were incredibly wonderful.  It was an all out celebration and it was the perfect start to a wonder and beautiful and amazing day.  The absolute best day of my life so far.  I know Ben's schedule was a little more hectic than mine that day, but at the end of the day we were married and that is what mattered the most.  The icing on top of that was getting to spend some time, however brief, with wonderful friends and family.

I do hope this tradition among my college friends continues.  I found it to be a greatly peaceful thing to do before everything got hectic.  Tea is about finding focus, knowing that all things are equal and no person in the tea room is better than any other person in the tea room.  It is about reverence to life and your fellow man.  It is about peace.  

And if you have never tried matcha and mochi then you are totally missing out.


Jami said...

What a great post! I've never heard of a chado. So interesting!

Annie @ Wattlebird said...

I would love to take a class like this!! I love tea, and it just looks like such a fun little tradition!

... said...

wow that looks like such a fun time. i love tea!

Holly said...

I just love having tea, but I don't really have any special technique. You'll have to teach me the proper way to serve tea at my house! Also, I love the fact that it's turned into a wedding tradition for you and your friends.

stephanie said...

so interesting! i've never hear of chado either! i am a tea fiend though!!!

Nicole said...

that does look fun, wish I could have a tea ceremony. Maybe we'll make up our own family ceremony just for fun. There isn't a rule against that right?

Knit-O-Matic said...

Holly, I would love to have you over for Japanese tea. Bear in mind though that it is not a steeped tea like you are used to. It is a powdered tea wisked in to hot water. A lot of people have to develop a taste for it.

Nicole, Make whatever traditions you want! I don't think there are any rules about what you can make special to you and your friends and family.

Kristin said...

What a lovely tradition!