Vietnam's incense makers carry prayers to those above

Church allows the faithful to light joss sticks as Catholics across the nation celebrate Tet
Vietnam's incense makers carry prayers to those above

A shop sells colorful joss sticks and souvenirs in Hue, Vietnam. (UCA News photo)

Two men hack bamboo planks to be fed into a whittling machine while others dip the thin strips into buckets of red dye, leaving brightly colored bundles fanned out on iron shelves under the sunlight to air.

Some women wearing face masks coat the sticks with aromatic incense paste before redrying them and shipping them off for packaging.

“We supply 1,000 kilograms of joss sticks to markets per month,” said Ton Nu Mai, who owns the business based in Thuy Bieu ward in Hue, central Vietnam.

Mai, 43, said her incense sticks are made of a mixture of natural materials like the sawdust of agarwood, cinnamon, clove, star anise, pine tar and other aromatic materials.

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