Long Jing – Tea and Legends

Long Jing - Tea and Legends

A long, long time ago in China there was a very long period of drought. The consequence was an epidemic of plague that affected entire villages, causing the death of many people. 

The situation was really serious. It was then that some elders told of the existence of a plant whose juice, if extracted, could cure the sick and make the land fertile. It was a plant that could be found on a mountain that was guarded by a fierce dragon.

Then brave young men went up the mountain to get it. But they did not return, the dragon who guarded the spring had caught them.

Three brothers, two boys and a girl, also decided to leave. The older brother left first, but after 36 days, he still hadn’t returned. Then the second brother left, but after 49 days he too had not returned. The girl left last.

When it reached the source, it realized that the dragon had turned into stones all those who had tried to challenge it.

Not wanting to end up the same way, instead of approaching it, he shot it with an arrow from a distance. The dragon was struck dead. The girl was thus able to collect the shoots of the sacred plant. She watered them with water from the spring and, to her surprise, they immediately became adult plants. She then collected the seeds and squeezed them onto the stones. With every drop that fell, a person came back to life. It was the same for his brothers.

At home, the brothers planted seeds on a hillside and other plants sprang up. With the leaves of these sacred plants they prepared an infusion that they distributed to the village.

The sick people were cured; the rain came again and the land was fertile again. Since then in Fujian they never stopped drinking the sacred infusion of the tea plant.

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