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National Chai Day – Celebrate with a Homemade Chai Tea Recipe!

Chai tea is a delicious drink which has been enjoyed all over the world for thousands of years. It’s no wonder that is has it’s own day, National Chai Day!

National Chai Day falls annually on September 21, and celebrates this spiced tea beverage. It’s one of the many tea themed national days during the year.

The best way to celebrate this September 21 national day is to enjoy a cup of chai. You can make it yourself with our homemade chai tea recipe at the bottom of this post.

Keep reading to learn the history of this national day, fun facts, the origin of chai tea and more!

National days of the year are a fun way to foods, drinks and items that you come into contact with. Be sure to check out this national days guide to learn why we celebrate them.

A grey background with a green teacup on a saucer placed on top of a grey napkin, filled with a homemade recipe for chai, garnished with star anise and a text overlay beside it that reads "Celebrate National Chai Day with a homemade chai tea recipe".

History of National Chai Day

On September 21, 2018, a company called Somrus founded National Chai Day. The national drink day has been celebrated on September 21, every year since.

Somrus, which translates from Sanskrit to English to mean “nectar of the gods”, is a highly awarded Indian-inspired cream liqueur brand.

The first product they developed was a chai cream liqueur. It consists of Caribbean rum, Wisconsin diary cream, and a blend of eastern spices.

In addition to their chai cream liqueur, which inspired National Chai Day, they also have a coffee cream liqueur and a mango cream liqueur.

Origin of chai tea

While National Chai Day was founded in 2018, the history of chai is much older. According to legend, Chai originated in India 5,000-9,000 years ago.

A saucepan filled with a homemade masala chai recipe being poured into a glass mug on a woven doily, with various chai spices in the background like star anise, green cardamom pods, black pepper, cinnamon sticks and cloves.

It was said that a King during that time created chai as an Ayurvedic beverage. Ayurveda is a type of medicine which uses herbal remedies (among other holistic practices) to encourage whole body healing.

Early chai was not caffeinated; it contained a flavorful spice blend but didn’t include tea leaves. It was served both hot and cold, and was believed to be a cure for certain illnesses.

Though tea plants had grown in the Assam region in India for centuries, British colonization in India introduced tea drinking as a more recreational practice, instead of a medicinal one.

How to celebrate National Chai Day

Would you like to celebrate National Chai Day in a special way? Try one of these ideas.

A white teacup and saucer filled with a homemade chai recipe garnished with one star anise in the cup, and two on the saucer along with two cinnamon sticks, all against a grey background.

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  • Make the homemade chai tea recipe at the bottom of this post, to enjoy a hot cup of chai.
  • Light a chai scented candle to enjoy the aroma of chai even after you’ve finished your cup of tea.
  • Go out to a coffee shop and order a cup of chai tea, or a chai tea latte.
  • Get a new mug with a strainer to enjoy chai at home.
  • Read a book about the history of chai, like Chai: The Experience of Indian Tea.

Chai tea spices

Chai recipes vary, but most homemade chai tea recipes are made from black tea, water, milk and sugar and a mixture of chai tea spices.

The chai tea spices usually include cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns, and ginger. Some homemade chai recipes also include fennel, nutmeg, coriander or star anise.

Chai facts

Observe National Chai Day by brushing up on your knowledge of the drink with these fascinating chai facts. Some may surprise you!

A cup of chai tea, with the words "masala chai" written above it, and various chai tea spices around it like cinnamon, ginger, cloves and green cardamom pods.

  • While commonly called “chai tea”, the term is actually redundant. Chai translates from Hindi to mean tea, so calling chai “chai tea” would be the same as calling it “tea tea”.
  • Unlike some other types of tea, chai is caffeinated due to its base of black tea.
  • If you order a “dirty chai” at a coffee shop, you’re ordering a chai tea latte with a shot of espresso added.
  • Masala chai translates to mean “spiced tea”, and refers to the spice blend used in chai recipes.
  • In India, there are street vendors who specialize in tea. Their profession is called “chaiwala” literally translating to mean tea vendor. 

Share this homemade chai tea recipe for National Chai Day with your friends on twitter:

If you enjoyed learning about the origin of chai tea, don’t forget to this homemade chai recipe for with your friends. Here’s a tweet to get you started:

Celebrate National Chai Day by making our homemade chai tea recipe, on Always the Holidays! ✨ #ChaiRecipe #NationalChaiDay Click To Tweet

More September 21 national days

Did you enjoy learning about National Chai Day? Well you’re in luck, September 21 is host to more than just one national day! 

A block that reads "September" above two blocks that read "21" together, arranged on a tabletop with a grey and wooden diamond pattern and foliage in the top right and bottom left corner.

Here is a complete list of all the September 21 national days:

  • National Chai Day
  • World Gratitude Day
  • National Pecan Cookie Day
  • National New York Day
  • National Day of Civic Hacking
  • Batman Day
  • Pause the World Day
  • World Alzheimer’s Day

More national days in September

There are close to 2000 national days in the year and over 150 of them are celebrated in September.

To see them all, have a look at this post to discover more national days in September. If you enjoy doing puzzles, be sure to also check out the September word search printable which features many of the national days hidden in a word find puzzle. 

The word "September" in orange, green, and yellow capital letters of varying sizes, with an orange and yellow oak leaf illustrations below it.

Is food your thing? Each day of the month has a food or drink associated with it, too. You’ll find all the September food holidays here.

Be sure to also check out these national days this month:

Pin this post on National Chai Day for later

Would you like a reminder of this post for National Chai Day? Just pin this image to one of your national day boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

Make sure to check out our YouTube video for more food and drink related September national days.

A cup of homemade masala chai tea with star anise and cinnamon sticks garnishing it, with a text overlay above it that reads "Get a homemade chai tea recipe for National Chai Day".

Yield: 2 servings

Chai Recipe

A white teacup and saucer filled with a homemade chai recipe garnished with one star anise in the cup, and two on the saucer along with two cinnamon sticks, all against a grey background.

National Chai Day on September 21 is a great excuse to make homemade chai, but this recipe is so tasty, you'll be wanting to make chai every day!

The homemade chai tea recipe below makes two mugs of chai tea, but you can always adjust it if you're making chai for more people.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 16 oz filtered water
  • 8 oz milk of choice
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


  1. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the cloves, cardamom pods, and peppercorns.
  2. Add your filtered water, cinnamon stick, star anise, ginger and mixture of crushed cloves, cardamom, and peppercorns to a saucepan.
  3. Let the mixture come to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the tea bags.
  5. Let the tea bags steep for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the milk and sugar and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. (optional*) Using a soup ladle, aerate the the chai until it becomes lightly bubbly. This is done by scooping a ladle full of the chai, raising it about a foot above the pot, and then poring it back in and repeating the process.
  9. Strain the mixture into a mug and enjoy warm.
  10. If you'd like iced chai, strain the mixture into a jar and refrigerate until it cools and then serve over ice.


*Aerating the chai is optional, but recommended. It makes the chai taste creamier by breaking down the layer of cream that has formed on top and incorporating it back into the chai.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 92Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 69mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 5g

Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.

Jess author photoAbout the author

Since graduating from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jess has been living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She is a freelance writer, specializing in content related to fashion, food and drink and film industry topics. Find out more about Jess here.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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