Legend about tea ancestor in Junnan province


For people who live in Junnan province tea is holy. Every year, when spring harvest comes, people of different nationalities perform a rite of sacrifice. Tea farmers pray to Heaven and Earth, thank their ancestors for such a generous gift, ask blessing from Gods. People make ritual ceremonies, offer gifts for ancient tea trees, mountainous spirits or the “tea ancestor” Kun Ming. In Junnan province it is neither the emperor Shennong nor Buddhist preacher Bodhidharma from whose eyelid the first tea bush grew, are considered forefathers of tea tradition, but a military and a statesman of The Three Kingdoms period (220-280 years) - Zhuge Liang (181-234 years), also famous as Kongming, Legends of The Jino people run that Kongming gave them tea se??? as presents, so that people could peacefully live in these places, dealing with tea growing. In one literary source there is information about huge “emperor tea plants”, which were left by Kongming as a heritage for future generations. “Locals bring young vine to these trees as sacrifice”. On 23rd of seventh month by lunar calendar people celebrate Kongming’s birthday with a large scale festival.

Magic tales say about a wonderful staff of Kongming, which turned into a tea plant. When Kongming was passing through lands of Junnan province, many of his soldiers got sick with a severe disease. People were exhausted from a long walk through a desert, theirmoughs were dry and their eyes could no longer see anything. Then Kongming stuck his stuff into the ground – it gave roots and covered with emerald green leaves. This plant turned out to be tea. People started to consume a liquor of tea leaves as a medication and soon got healed completely. A magic tea was left as a heritage for future generations. Since then some peoples in China call tea plant a Kongming’s tree and perform a rite of worship to a spirit of a tea god. People drink tea, admire Moon, sing songs, dance and pray celebrating the great ancestor.