Tea Pets

A tea pet, also known as a tea lover's pet, is a small clay figure which is kept by some tea drinkers for good luck. They are usually made of Yixing clay, from the region near Yixing in Jiangsu province, China. Just like Yixing teapots made of the same clay, tea pets are unglazed, so that they are mostly monochromatic with a rough surface. Tea lovers in China raise a tea pet by placing it on the tea tray during tea time and pouring out the tea over it. Tea pets are also molded into zodiac animals or Chinese mythical creatures such as dragons, Pixiu, Qilin, etc., to symbolize good luck, fortune and happiness, as well as religious, historical or mythical characters such as Buddha, Hotei, Guanyin, etc.