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Beauty and Elegance in the Song Dynasty: An online course on Diancha, a unique art of tea making

Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province, is famous for its enchanting landscape around West Lake. This landscape gave rise to a unique and profound aesthetic awareness, which is the elegant life-style of the Song Dynasty.

The aesthetic preferences in the Song Dynasty developed into a lifestyle rich in culture, whereby everyday activities were carried out with poetic sentiments. Tea culture was an outstanding example, for it nourished the body and soul of poets and scholars with its philosophy of well-being and rich cultural heritage.

As the saying goes,“tea is the national drink, and Hangzhou is the tea capital”. Hangzhou is the place of origin of West Lake Longjin Tea. Tea houses are dotted around the city, and tea culture has become an inherent part of people’s daily life. A small cup of tea represents a deep history of tea culture of China, and which now blooms with a new vitality in the modern city of Hangzhou.

To promote the elegant Song culture, staff members at the Zhejiang Library delved into its collection of classics, particularly those relating to tea culture in the Song Dynasty. Focusing on the themes of ‘tea culture’, ‘people and tea’, and ‘tea in daily life’, they recreated the tea-making method in the Song Dynasty, and presented them in the form of a "cloud classroom" to overseas audiences. Here you will experience the beauty of tea culture the Song Dynasty in an immersive and all-round way.This class will demonstrate the beauty of Chinese traditional culture, and help to spread the aesthetic lifestyle in modern China to the rest of the world.