Cérémonie du thé

Friday 1 and Saturday 2 December 2006 at 3 pm
Claude Lévi-Strauss Theatre
Open to all without charge, as long as unreserved seating is available 

The Musée du quai Branly takes part in 'Corée au Coeur' event programming, which celebrates the 120th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and Korea, by presentation of the tea ceremony.

The ceremony, followed by tea tasting, is performed by members of the prestigious Panyaro Institute for the Way of Tea, founded in 1983 by ChaeWon-hwa. Its President, Mrs Chae Won-Hwa, is heir to the Venerable Moine Hyodang, and carries on the tradition.

Tea came to Korea from Tang dynasty China in the third year of the reign of King Hungkok of Silla in 828.  The first tea trees were planted by royal decree on the sun-drenched slopes of Mount Jiri. Use of tea, essentially in Buddhist ceremonies, continued to increase until the end of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392). During this era, the Korean educational system for training of officers included, apart from the usual disciplines (philosophy, poetry, calligraphy and martial arts) initiation into 'the art of tea'.

According to Choi-I, a great Korean man of letters, it was impossible to cheat with tea, as its harmony reflected the harmony of the soul itself.

A number of laws governing tea drinking exist. Tea should be enjoyed three times - first to appreciate its flavour, second to savour its fragrance, and finally to be captivated by its charms.


1. Presentation of the tea ceremony

(duration: 10 minutes)

by Chae Won-hwa, President of the Panyaro Institute for the Way of Tea 

2. The tea ceremony

(duration: 1 hour)

Gongsu Seoncha (10-15 persons) 

Demonstration of how tea is prepared in leaf form in the traditional way, by Chae Won-hwa and his disciples (The Zen of tea, which shapes both body and heart)

Malcha Seoncha  (7-10 persons)

Demonstration of how tea is prepared in powder form

Heongong Charye (7 persons) 

A solemn ceremony for offering tea to the Buddha, the spirits, or the ancestors, and to mark the end of the year. On a clear night, aglow with a myriad stars and the light of candles, tea is offered to the deities, aware of the breath of the New Year coming to light our way and bring fresh hope. .

Doksu Seoncha (1 person)

Demonstration of how tea is prepared, by Chae Won-hwa, sunk in deep meditation. (The Zen of tea at its profoundest and most universal level)

3. Tasting and discussion of tea

(duration: 1 hour / Claude Lévi-Strauss Theatre foyer)