The Rise of the Tea Party 茶会的兴起

在我国,以茶待客的礼仪由来已久,据文献记载,江南一带,在两晋、南北朝时,“客坐设茶”,便已成为普遍的待客礼仪。到唐朝,它更发展为全国性的礼俗。
In China, the etiquette of entertaining guests with tea has a long history. According to historical records, in the two Jin Dynasties and the Northern and Southern Dynasties “entertaining guests with tea” was a universal means of entertaining guests in the regions south of the Yangtze River. In the Tang Dynasty, it had developed into a part of the national etiquette and customs.
以茶叶相馈赠,在我国历史上实际出现很早,但在唐朝以前的文献中记述不多,在《全唐诗》中馈赠茶叶成为常见的题材。
Offering tea as a gift appeared early in the history of our country, however there were not so many records of this practice in pre-Tang Dynasty literature. The offering of tea as a gift was a frequently used subject matter In the Complete Tang Poems.
与唐朝以茶为礼,以茶相馈盛极一时相关,在社会上围绕茶的饮用,还兴起了其他一些新的风尚,茶会即是其中最值得称道的一种。“茶会”(即今之茶话会)一词,最早就见之于唐诗。诗中所记的茶会、茶宴或茶集,差不多都与寺庙僧人有关。
Tea as a gift was fashionable for a period of the Tang Dynasty. The tea party was one of the most praiseworthy new prevailing customs appearing in the society in relation to the choice of tea as gift and tea drinking. The expression “tea party” (tea reception as it is called now) first appeared in the Tang poetry. Most of the tea parties, tea banquets or tea fairs involved monks from temples.
这说明,茶会或许就是由寺庙僧界首先兴起的。茶对佛教来说,不只是一种“荡昏寐”、“净尘心”有助于修行的饮料;而且是用以标榜俭朴的所谓“素业”。
This proved that the tea party may have risen to popularity first with monks of Buddhist temples. Tea is not only a drink conducive to cultivating oneself according to a religious tenets, promoting the “dispelling of drowsiness” and “eliminating of earthly longings”, but also an aid in providing favorable publicity for the so-called “meditative mind”.

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