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Spring tealeaf picking underway in Hangzhou

CGTN| Updated: March 26, 2024 L M S


Residents pick West Lake Longjing tea leaves in Longjing Village of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province on March 20, 2024. /IC

A specialty of Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, the West Lake tea growing area is now full of hustle and bustle as local residents have started picking tea leaves this spring.

Given the special picking time, these tea leaves are also called "Mingqian cha," literally meaning "the tea leaves picked before Qingming Festival," or Tomb-sweeping Day. The unique name of this occasion is based on the 24 solar terms in the traditional Chinese calendar, one of which is called "Qingming." 

The tea leaves picked at this period are tender sprouts, thus feature low production. In return, this makes the "Mingqian cha" precious, with a saying going, "Mingqian cha is as precious as gold."

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