“First tea event of the year” is a bit of a misnomer since technically we had classes and practices prior to this; however, Hatsudate means more than just what the word itself stands for. Hatsudate is the first time each year we have the opportunity to thank all of our supporters and friends, welcoming guests to participate in a tea gathering (chakai) celebrating them while ringing in the new year.
We needed to divide the group into four in order to manage in the space.
The fare was rather simple
Guests each had a tray of food, sake,
and a bowl of soup
Once the food was finished the guests entered the tearoom and watched as the charcoal fire was prepared.
The green utensils on the daisu this year were made in Poland and have a fish scale pattern along the upper edge which many of the guests likened to dragon scales.
The fire was built and rebuilt over the day and into the night.
Once the fire was ready the guests shared a bowl of koicha (thick tea), had a different sweet, and lastly had a bowl or two of usucha (thin tea).
All in attendance seemed to have a good day and we enjoyed being able to share the New Year celebration. Thank you to everyone involved! We look forward to sharing chanoyu with you all again many times in this and every new year.