International Tea Day 2024 (21st May), Theme, History, Significance

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International Tea Day 2024

International Tea Day is coming up soon! Mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 21st, 2024. It is an annual celebration coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

It’s a day to:

  • Celebrate the long history, cultural significance, and economic impact of tea production and consumption worldwide.
  • Raise awareness about the importance of sustainable tea production and consumption methods.
  • Recognize the potential health benefits associated with tea consumption.
  • Celebrate the cultural heritage and enjoyment associated with tea consumption around the globe.

International Tea Day Theme 2024

While there’s no specific theme for International Tea Day 2024, the focus generally revolves around promoting sustainable production and consumption of tea. Tea is one of the most popular beverages globally, with billions of cups consumed daily.

History of the International Tea Day

The history of International Tea Day is a relatively recent but significant development in recognizing the global importance of this beloved beverage. Here’s a breakdown of its key milestones:

Early Advocacy (2005)

  • The roots of International Tea Day can be traced back to 2005.
  • Trade unions, small tea growers, and civil society organizations in Asia and Africa launched the International Tea Day campaign.
  • Their primary goal was to raise awareness about the challenges faced by tea producers, including fair prices for their crops and living wages for workers.
  • This campaign gained momentum within these regions, with initial celebrations held in countries like India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.

Official Recognition by the UN (2015-2019)

  • The movement for an official International Tea Day reached a turning point in 2015.
  • The Tea Board of India, a government agency, proposed the idea of an official UN-sanctioned International Tea Day to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) .
  • This proposal received support from various tea-producing countries like Kenya, Sri Lanka, and China.
  • Over the next few years, member states of the FAO actively advocated for the establishment of International Tea Day.

Birth of International Tea Day (2019)

  • In 2019, a significant breakthrough occurred.
  • The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution officially establishing May 21st as International Tea Day.
  • This resolution acknowledged the social, economic, and cultural significance of tea, as well as its contribution to poverty reduction and food security, particularly in developing countries.

International Tea Day Today (2024)

  • Since its inception in 2020, International Tea Day has gained global recognition.
  • The FAO coordinates the celebration each year, often focusing on specific themes related to sustainable production, fair trade practices, or the health benefits of tea.
  • International Tea Day 2024 doesn’t have a specific theme, but the emphasis likely remains on promoting sustainable practices throughout the tea production and consumption chain.

About Tea

Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured or fresh leaves of Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to East Asia. After plain water, tea is the most widely consumed drink in the world. There are many different types of tea; some have a cooling, slightly bitter, and astringent flavor, while others have profiles that include sweet, nutty, floral, or grassy notes.

Health Benefits of Tea

Tea has been consumed for centuries for its medicinal properties. Some of the potential health benefits of tea include:

  • Improved cognitive function
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Boosted immune system
  • Weight loss
  • Improved dental health
  • Lower risk of cancer

Cultural Significance of Tea

Tea is an important part of many cultures around the world. In China, tea has been consumed for centuries and is considered a symbol of hospitality. In Japan, the tea ceremony is a traditional art form that involves the preparation and serving of tea. Tea is also a popular beverage in India, the United Kingdom, and many other countries.

History of Tea

Tea, crafted from the Camellia sinensis plant, ranks as the world’s second-most-consumed beverage, following water. Though its exact birthplace remains uncertain, it is believed to have originated in northeast India, north Myanmar, and southwest China. Tea has traversed through time, with historical evidence of consumption dating back 5,000 years in China.

The production and processing of tea serve as vital economic lifelines for numerous families in developing nations, often constituting their primary means of sustenance. In many least-developed countries, tea cultivation supports impoverished communities, offering employment opportunities in remote and economically disadvantaged regions. As a labor-intensive industry, tea cultivation plays a pivotal role in rural development, poverty alleviation, and enhancing food security, emerging as a crucial cash crop.

Beyond its economic significance, tea consumption offers a myriad of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and weight loss properties, contributing to overall wellness. Moreover, tea holds profound cultural importance across various societies, weaving into the fabric of their traditions and rituals.

Significance of the International Tea Day

International Tea Day serves as a reminder to appreciate the journey of tea, from its cultivation to our cups. It’s a day to:

  • Recognize the dedication of tea farmers, processors, and workers.
  • Advocate for sustainable practices in the tea industry.
  • Celebrate the diverse cultural traditions associated with tea across various societies and traditions.
  • Explore the potential health benefits of tea consumption.

Whether you’re a seasoned tea enthusiast or just enjoy a casual cup, International Tea Day is an invitation to appreciate this global beverage and its multifaceted significance.

Tea Production and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Tea production and processing contribute to the reduction of extreme poverty (Goal 1), the fight against hunger (Goal 2), the empowerment of women (Goal 5), and the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems (Goal 15).

Moreover, there is an urgent need to raise public awareness of the importance of tea for rural development and sustainable livelihoods and to improve the tea value chain to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

21st May 2024 Special Day

On May 21st, 2024, International Tea Day invites tea lovers worldwide to celebrate this beloved beverage. Coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, it’s a day to honor the cultural, economic, and health significance of tea. Whether enjoyed for its soothing properties or its diverse flavors, International Tea Day recognizes tea’s universal appeal and its role in fostering social connections and well-being.


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