Whether you’re someone who prefers classic holiday traditions or likes to put a modern spin on them, there’s always room for tea and there’s something really comforting about sipping a hot cup of tea on a cold winter’s eve.
For thousands of years, tea has been an important part of shaping holiday traditions around the world. Here are a few of our favourites that are sure to get you into the festive mood.
A tradition that began in ancient times, which involved people going door-to-door, singing and drinking from a bowl of ‘wassail’ (a mixture of mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sugar) toasting to good health, in exchange for gifts. Over the years, as the tradition was brought to England, ale was replaced by tea with mulled spices. Wassailing eventually came to be known as caroling, something that we are all familiar with, however the wassail bowl seems to have been forgotten along the way. Perhaps it’s time to rekindle the fire of this tradition with a warm cup of spiced tea. Our Apple Spice Black Tea, inspired by mulled wine seems like the perfect festive blend, to set the tone for the Christmas season ahead.
Flaming Tea Ceremony
In keeping with the custom of making Hanukkah a Festival of Lights, many Russian Jews follow the tradition of having a "flaming-tea" ceremony, which celebrates the burning light. Everybody puts a lump of sugar in a spoon and stands in line. Brandy is then poured over it and the cube is set on fire, spreading the warm glow. The flaming cube in then dropped at once into a glass of tea, extinguishing the light.
Traditional English Tea Parties
Around 6pm, after the Christmas meal, British families gather again for a time of fellowship and ongoing festivities. Evening teas in Britain are typically done with a lighter black tea like Darjeeling or Yunnan tea. When the weather is unusually warm, these are often known to be replaced by iced versions.Snacks and treats like mince pies, sausage rolls, and three-tiered trays of desserts have become the norm for these lavish tea parties as well.
Make your own holiday tradition
The holidays are meant to spend quality time with the people you love, building bonds and making memories. Why not come up with your own unique tea tradition this year, to share with your friends and family. Perhaps you could celebrate the 12 days of Christmas from 25th December to 6th January with a different tea each day, from our 12 days of Christmas tea samplers. Or you could brew a pot of your favourite tea and sit around, telling Christmas stories or reading classics like ‘A Christmas Carol’ or even watching Christmas movies.
Whichever the holiday tradition you decide to adopt, let tea be the highlight of your festivities.