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Photographer's Note

For over two thousand years, the Chinese have used incense in religious ceremonies, ancestor veneration, Traditional Chinese medicine, and daily life.

Agarwood and sandalwood are the two most important ingredients in Chinese incense.

Along with the introduction of Buddhism in China came calibrated incense sticks and incense clocks. The poet Yu Jianwu first recorded them: "By burning incense we know the o'clock of the night, With graduated candles we confirm the tally of the watches." The use of these incense timekeeping devices spread from Buddhist monasteries into Chinese secular society.

It is incorrect to assume that the Chinese only burn incense in the home before the family shrine. In Taoist traditions, incense is inextricably associated with the 'yin' energies of the dead, temples, shrines, and ghosts. Therefore, Taoist Chinese believe burning undedicated incense in the home attracts the dreaded hungry ghosts, who consume the smoke and ruin the fortunes of the family.

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Additional Photos by gee hoo (geehoo) Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6 W: 16 N: 84] (634)
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