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Time for a Tea Party 

It’s a big one!

At the Japanese Festival, held Saturday through Monday (August 30 through September 1) at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; 314-577-9400 or www.mobot.org), 2008 has been declared the "Year of Tea." Which is good for you, because you've been dying to know what all the tea fuss is about. Sure, you've sipped a cuppa once or twice and it tasted just fine, but you've never been able to grasp why tea is such a big deal to so many peoples, the Japanese included. Fortunately, you'll have a chance to find out during the fest this weekend on the garden's Teahouse Island. Tea ceremonies are held there six times daily, and tickets ($15, cash only) can be purchased twice each day; ceremonies are limited to twelve people. In addition to the tea rituals, the festival offers walking tours, sumo wrestling, a variety of performances, Japanese foods (including green-tea ice cream), kimono fashion shows and a marketplace. Admission to the extravaganza costs $3 to $10; the celebrations run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday.
Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2008

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