World ? Asia ? South Korea

Hadong Wild Tea Cultural Festival

Time for tea. Courtesy of Korea National Tourism Organization
Photo courtesy of Korea National Tourism Organization
May 2009 (annual)
The curious and appealing Hadong Wild Tea Cultural Festival takes place at the first tea cultivation site, Chasibaeji, surrounding Ssanggaesa Temple in Hwagae-myeon in Hadong.
Hadong is regarded as the birthplace of Korea's tea culture. Products native to Hadong undergo rigorous processing and handling, consisting of nine gruelling, repetitious cycles of hand-picking, rubbing and drying, which starts during the rainy season and lasts until late May.

Visitors are able to take part in a wide variety of festival activities such as gathering wild tea leaves, experiencing a traditional tea ceremony by Buddhist priests and visiting farm households that cultivate tea.

According to a historical account, during the Shilla Kingdom in 828, an envoy to the Tang Dynasty in China brought back tea seeds to plant. The plantation is believed to be the site of the first Korean tea harvest in the same year.
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