|Local roots: Ancient tea trees in Suối Giàng, Văn Chấn District. — VNA/VNS Photos Tuấn Anh
The Mông ethnic minority group in Văn Chấn District, the northern province of Yên Bái, has long made a living from local tea trees.
|Fired up: Fresh tea leaves are dried in huge woks.
Shan Tuyết tea has large, light grey leaves. One side of the leaf is covered with a thin layer of white fur. Locals call it trà tuyết (snow tea).
|Community event: The ceremony gathers all adults in the village.
The tea has a sweet fragrance and once brewed the tea water has the colour of honey and tastes special. The tea is processed by hand by the Mông and Dao ethnic minority groups.
|Hand-picked: After the ceremony, locals join in a tea picking contest.
The ancient tea trees stand on top of a mountain more than 1,000 metres above sea level, covered with clouds all year round. Each tree is a few metres in height with trunks a few metres in diameters. The climate and special soil conditions create a unique taste. The trees are grown naturally, without using any fertiliser.
|Respect: A shaman at the worship ceremony.
Every year, in October or around the New Year, local people organise a worship ceremony to thank the heavens, the land and the ancient tea trees, which have brought a steady income for them.
|Work and play: Young people join in a bánh dày (sticky rice cake) making contest.
Everyone gathers to prepare for the ceremony. Various contests involving tea processing are organised as well as folk games and local delicacies. — VNS