Seasonal greetings: What a beautiful jasmine flower

“What a beautiful jasmine flower

Beautiful fragrant stems full of buds

Perfumed and white, everyone praises it

Let me pluck you and

Give yourself to others

Jasmine flower, oh, jasmine flower “

This famous Chinese folk song is also one of the most famous Chinese music pieces abroad.

However, jasmine is not originally Chinese.

As early as the Han Dynasty (202BC-220AD), the appearance of jasmine was recorded in “Shi Ji”, also known as “Records of the Grand Historian”.

According to “Shi Ji”, jasmine originated in the ancient Roman Empire and was then transported to Dagu in Persia and Tianzhu by the Maritime Silk Route.

After arriving in India, jasmine was quickly called the sacred flower of Buddhism. Later, when Indian Buddhism was introduced to China, jasmine spread to China as well.

During the Tang Dynasty (68-907), jasmine was just a flower to admire. At the end of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the unique aroma made jasmine and tea a lasting marriage.

It was not until the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) that jasmine tea began to be marketed.

There are a large number of cultural relics in history which record the scented tea at this time.

From the selection of raw materials to the method of scented jasmine tea, the steps are detailed and ripe.

The largest jasmine producing area in China is Guangxi in southern China, Hengxian County. At present, the Hengxian jasmine planting area exceeds 110,000 mu (over 73 million square meters), and the region has more than 330,000 flower growers. Jasmine and jasmine tea production accounts for over 80 percent of the country’s total production, thus consolidating Hengxian’s status as the hometown of jasmine in China.

Local jasmine has the characteristics of early flowering, long flowering, large buds, high yield, good quality and strong fragrance. According to historical records, the history of jasmine planting in Hengxian County began during the Ming Dynasty.

In recent years, Hengxian has not only made great efforts in planting, but also to continuously expand the industrial chain. Local businesses are encouraged to develop the downstream jasmine industry, producing a series of by-products such as jasmine essential oil, jasmine cakes and jasmine sachets which are widely consumed.

(Cover image designer: Du Chenxi)

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