According to the lunar calendar, springtime marks the end of one year and the beginning of the next. It’s also a celebration of everything in the natural world starting afresh.
Did you know? China originally only recognised 2 main seasons; spring and autumn. Winter and summer were added to fit in with the western calendar. China also observes 24 ‘mini’ seasons called 节气 that are connected with the lunar calendar. You can read more about them here.
Our March 2021 boxes feature one of China’s best known tea 茉莉花茶 Jasmine Tea. Take a fairly generous pinch of the tea leaves and add them to your re-usable tea infusing bag [included in the box].
This tea doesn’t need to be rinsed. Add boiling water and brew for 5-7 minutes. It can also be cold brewed for 4-5 hours to make an iced version. Once at the desired strength, add sweetener of your choice to taste.
For more detail on how to brew different types of Chinese tea, see our simple guide:
Spring Fans – Art project
Your box includes fans that you can paint and/or design yourself.
From emperors to common people, fans have been used nearly universally throughout China. In wealthier places, they’re used to display calligraphy and paintings, in more rural areas they are a great way to soften the heat and swat away the mosquitoes. Fans are also a physical representation of the national pursuit of a leisurely life.
If you want to add some traditional Chinese symbolism to your Spring fan designs, here’s a summary of the meanings of the most common flowers featured in Chinese artwork.
Spring Style Family Portrait Backdrop [frame not inc.]
This beautiful backdrop features the Chinese sentence: 春眼花落知多少 meaning: Eyes of Spring, do you know how many flower petals fall?
We recommend opening out the backdrop before you intend to use it to give the creases chance to flatten out, although some creases will remain.
Many Chinese families take a family portrait in Spring/around Chinese New Year. This beautiful backdrop can also be used as table cloth.
DIY Candied Fruit Kit
Candied fruit – traditionally haw fruit, but often strawberries or a mix of softer fruit – are a traditional street snack enjoyed in Spring throughout the mainland.
It’s made by putting clean, prepared [i.e. all stones and inedible skins removed] fruit on a wooden stick and dipping it into a crystal sugar syrup and allowing to dry.
When ready, this snack is thought to look like a string of small red lanterns [灯笼].
- Prepare and skewer your preferred fruit onto wooden sticks.
- In a non-stick frying pan, mix 1 cup of white sugar with 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of the glass-making powder included in your Spring box.
- Don’t be tempted to stir, leave it to boil until the sugar and powder has completely dissolved and mixture has come to the boil.
- Roll the skewered fruit in the hot syrup mixture [see photo]. Place on wire rack or grease proof paper to dry.