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International Tea Day | May 21st

by Waseem Iqbal
Published: Last Updated on
International Tea Day

Every year on May 21st, tea-producing countries celebrate International Tea Day. The day seeks to draw the attention of governments and citizens around the world to the impact that tea trade has on workers and growers.

The tea-producing countries that celebrate International Tea Day include:

  • Bangladesh
  • Sri Lanka
  • Nepal
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Uganda
  • India
  • Tanzania

Aside from water, tea is the most popular beverage in the world. The primary types of tea include white, black, green, oolong, herbal, and pu’erh. Tea is believed to have originated in China. There, drinkers used tea for medicinal reasons. In the 17th century, tea made its way to the UK.

Because of the large number of tea drinkers in the world, tea demands a massive production scale. Unfortunately, in many tea-producing countries, production comes with many challenges. Some of the obstacles tea-producing countries face include low wages for tea workers, lack of medical care for tea workers in rural areas, and a lack of clean and potable water on tea plantations. There is also a need for improved sanitation on tea plantations. Additionally, women make up 50 percent of the workforce on tea plantations. These women usually don’t have access to education.

HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalTeaDay

Trade unions and workers’ organizations gather on this day to organize seminars, public events, and presentations. Their goal is to heighten a sense of collectivism among tea growers and strengthen tea growers associations. The day also celebrates tea culture. Organizations host events recognizing the significance of tea as a major export crop for tea-producing countries.


You don’t have to be from a tea-producing country to celebrate this day. To participate:

  • Drink a cup of your favorite tea or try a kind of tea you’ve never had before
  • Have a tea party with all the favorite girls in your life
  • Learn about the intriguing history of tea
  • Take a friend out for a cup of tea
  • Read about all the health benefits of tea
  • Be sure to share this day on social media with #InternationalTeaDay.


International Tea Day was created at the World Social Forum in 2004. In 2005, the first International Tea Day was celebrated in New Delhi. Sri Lanka began organizing celebrations in 2006. Trade union movements have been responsible for organizing International Tea Day celebrations, as well as Global Tea Conferences. In 2015, the Indian government made a proposal to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The proposal was to expand the observance to countries around the world. In June of 2019, the UN considered combining special tea days in different countries into one day.

The Intergovernmental Group on Tea proposed to celebrate International Tea Day on May 21st. The proposal was approved at a recent FAO conference and is awaiting approval by the UN General Assembly.

Source: National Day Calendar


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