No beverages are allowed in Smithsonian Institution museums. Although visitors may find this edict inconvenient and the authorities inflexible, the reasons for the prohibition are obvious: Imagine orange juice on the control panel of the Lunar Roving Vehicle, or Frappuccino stains on the first ladies’ gowns. Today, members of the Washington branch of the Urasenke Tradition of Tea bend the rule and hold a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at the Freer Gallery of Art in conjunction with the exhibit “The Tea Ceremony in Japan.” Urasenke preserves the time-honored ritual of preparing, serving, and partaking of tea in an atmosphere of respect, gratitude, and tranquility. The ceremony, in which both thick koicha and thin usucha teas will be served in raku bowls, just might have the power to transform the museum’s conference room into something a little more Zen-like. At 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. at the Freer Gallery of Art’s Conference Room, 12th & Jefferson Drive SW. Free. For reservations call (202) 357-2700. (Karen Mitchell)