‘Chengdu Teahouse’ pop up in Covent Garden, 23-25 May

Tea ceremonies, entertainment and a chance to win a trip to China

Chengdu Panda 1

Chengdu Panda

Chengdu Panda

Chengdu Panda

Chengdu Pandas

Chengdu Pandas

Chengdu Skyline

Chengdu Skyline

Chengdu

Chengdu

Chinese Entertainment

Chinese Entertainment

The Chinese city of Chengdu will be hosting a ‘Chengdu Teahouse’ pop up in Covent Garden from 23rd- 25th May, which will open exclusively for 72 hours. Chengdu, the capital of the Chinese region of Sichuan, is credited for being the birthplace for Chinese teahouse culture – which stretches back to 618 AD – and teahouses here, unlike other places in China, still play a central role in everyday life for inhabitants. In the teahouse, experts from Chengdu will demonstrate elaborate tea ceremonies and dazzling displays of Chinese opera’s ‘Face Changing’ techniques and visitors will be able to watch for free.

Most Chengduites go to teahouses to lean back in their bamboo chairs relax, drink tea, play cards or Mahjong and just generally let the day pass by, but the ancient teahouses were where Chinese opera also took place. ‘Face changing’ – or to be more accurate face mask changing is an important part of opera from Sichuan and is performed with lightning to speed to display different characteristics. But the techniques are often kept secret and are traditionally only handed down the generations to members of the same family, which has made the art extremely rarely performed outside China.

Those visiting the teahouse will also have the chance to win one of five pairs of 72-hour trips to Chengdu. All visitors need to do is take a selfie with one of the many pandas at the teahouse. To enter, panda selfies must be uploaded to @chendgu72 on Twitter or facebook.com/Chengdu using the hashtag #chendgdu72. The best selfies taken each day, either with a London panda or panda from home, will win a trip to the dynamic city of Chengdu, which as well as being the home and centre of conservation of the Giant Panda, is also a Chinese cultural, historical and gastronomic hub – and one of the best places to capture the essence of China.

The prize includes a visit to the stunning 92 acre Giant Panda Base, where visitors can stroll the grounds observing the 80 pandas and assist one of the keepers in the daily panda care routine. There will also be the chance to enjoy Sichuan Opera; a visit to the Jinsha Museum, showcasing the ancient city of Jinsha which lay buried for 3,000 years and the Wu-Hou Shrine Museum, which contains the most important relics of the Three Kingdom Period as well as plenty of opportunity to sample traditional Sichuan cuisine. The prize includes return British Airways flights from London Heathrow, four star accommodation, transfers, admissions and the visa fee. The prize must be redeemed between July and September 2014.

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