Hi, Today is a very special day for me - Crissy doll as Lele is taking me to a tea
ceremony.  This morning she gave me my very own kimono and explained how to
wear it. Note the long flowing sleeves down to my ankles?  That means that I am a
young unmarried woman -- hehe remember that I am too young to get married!
She explained that the flap is worn left over the right - that's my left. The only time
the flap is worn the other way is when a person is being prepared for their burial.
The gold cord is called the Obi Belt and the wide belt is called a Sash. I have a
fan shaped bow in the back, see the picture on the right below.  I will tell you that
this kimono is very comfortable to wear! Now off we go to the tea!
Japanese Tea Ceremony Highlights:

If no meal is to be served, the tea hostess will serve small sweets.

The utensils and the tea bowl, whisk and tea scoop are cleaned in the presence of the guests in a certain order and using prescribed
motions. Then the host will place a measured amount of green tea powder in the bowl and add the appropriate amount of hot water, then
whisk the tea using certain movements.

All guests relax and enjoy the atmosphere created by the sounds of the water and fire, the scent of the incense and tea, and the beauty and
simplicity of the tea house and its decorations.

The bowl is then served to the guest of honour either by the host or an assistant. Bows are exchanged between the host and guest of honour.
The guest then bows to the second guest, and raises the bowl in a gesture of respect to the host. The guest rotates the bowl to avoid drinking
from its front, takes a sip, speaks and then takes two or three more sips before wiping the rim, rotating the bowl to its original position, and
passing it to the next guest with a bow. The procedure is repeated until all guests have taken tea from the same bowl, and the bowl is returned
to the host.

After all the guests have taken tea, the host cleans the utensils and the guest of honour will request that the host allow the guests to examine
and admire all the items including including the water scoop, the tea caddy, the tea scoop, the tea whisk, and, most importantly, the tea bowl.
The items are treated with extreme care and reverence as they are frequently priceless, irreplaceable handmade antiques, and guests often
use a special cloth to handle them.

The host then collects the utensils, and the guests leave the tea house. The host bows from the door, and this ends the ceremony.

A tea ceremony can last between one hour and four to five hours, depending on the type of ceremony performed.

Keep checking back for more of my tour pics soon! Love, Crissy
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