Friday, September 21, 2018

Drinking alone under the moon

The moon festival has links to the Shang dynasty over 3000 years ago, at a time when people worshiped celestial objects. Later, during the Tang dynasty, poets found their night time inspiration in the moon. One of the most famous Tang poem is 月下独酌 "Drinking alone under the moon" by Li Bai (701-762). And despite its politically incorrect content (drinking wine alone), it is still taught to children in Taiwan and China: my children have learned it in kindergarten!

Last month, I had a similar experience drinking tea at nightfall near Lishan. The moon was rising from behind the mountain and I got to enjoy my tea as the sunlight dimmed.
Aged Hung Shui Oolong felt the closest substitute to wine and an excellent fit to the cooler mountain air! The tall ivory flower cups helped keep the brew hot and give it a more intense hue. The Yixing zhuni teapot also helped to brew at a higher temperature (than with porcelain) and obtain a warmer cup. Also, my lack of gongdao bei (pitcher) serves the same purpose, because the tea cools during each transfer from one vessel to another. Pouring directly in the cups means a hotter tea.
While it's kind of pathetic to get wasted (with alcohol) alone if you're not a poet, it feels peaceful and pure to drink tea alone under the moon! And it got even nicer when my wife finally joined me!
Happy autumn full moon festival!

1 comment:

toni3d said...

Happy Moon Festival!!!