What are Tea Pets?
Tea pets are small ceramic sculptures made in China which are used as a decorative item that purports to bring good luck. Originating in the Ming Dynasty, these clay sculptures can be inspired by real animals, mythical creatures, famous characters or even historical figures.
Features of Tea Pets
Tea pets can come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes but are usually quite small – often no bigger than a palm. They are painstakingly handcrafted from a hard-baked clay that understands the environment. These pets feature intricate details and a beautiful glaze to give them a unique and whimsical look.
Why are Tea Pets Popular?
In addition to being beautiful works of art, tea pets bring an element of luck and good fortune to their owner. Chinese folklore associates these clay figures with prosperity, health and wealth. They are believed to absorb the tea’s aroma and energy, making the pet more alive and vibrant.
Tea pet owners often include their pet in their tea rituals. In some cases they will make offerings of different teas to their pet and even “feed” them tea leaves. This is believed to provide nourishment to the pet, and in return they are thought to bring good luck to their owners.
Types of Tea Pets
Tea pets come in a wide range of species and shapes. Here are some of the most popular types of tea pets:
- Animals – cats, dogs, pigs, tigers, sheep, deer, etc.
- Mythical Creatures – dragons, phoenixes, unicorns, etc.
- Historical Figures – characters from Chinese literature and mythology, such as Sun Wukong, the Monkey King
- Fun Characters – clay figures depicting characters from popular culture and cartoons, such as Snoopy and Hello Kitty.
Regardless of the type, tea pets come alive with energy when you put them around the teapot and offer tea. Whether you are a seasoned tea lover or a beginner, these cute little sculptures are an excellent way to spruce up your tea experience.
Getting Started with Tea Pets
If you’d like to start your own collection of tea pets, you can easily find tea pet figurines online or at Asian markets. They can be found in a wide array of sizes, designs and materials such as porcelain, ceramic and even clay. When you get a tea pet, make sure that you give it a proper name and take good care of it.
A tea pet can add a special touch to your tea experience and bring a little bit of luck and fortune into your life. So what are you waiting for? Get your own tea pet and start your collection today!