Radiant Colours

In Chinese tradition, burning joss sticks in temples is a ritual to pray for blessings. Seen as a direct line to the heavens, the taller the joss stick, the closer the worshipper is to heaven.
These giant joss sticks were outside a temple next to the restaurant where we stopped mid-ride for breakfast yesterday. Joss sticks of this size will burn, smoulder actually, for the best part of 24 hours.

Giant joss sticks, including the dragon embellishments, are moulded by hand from a dough of cinnamon wood dust and water. The colours are spray and hand-painted on once the wood dough has dried.
I haven’t seen giant joss sticks like these for many years. They are becoming increasingly rare. Fewer young people are willing to learn this artisan trade. Tightening environmental regulations have lowered demand too.
It was nice to see these relics of the past brightening a dull and drizzly morning.

6 response to "Radiant Colours"

  1. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: August 17, 2020

    Wow those are something!
    I was just reading an article about the impact of joss sticks on the global environment. 😉
    The USA could use a gigantic joss stick about now!

  2. By: The Navigator Posted: August 18, 2020

    I would like to see the joss sticks with Tony’s coronavirus they burnt. Those are definitely colourful and I’d never heard of them before. Thanks for sharing! Hope your son is staying safe down in Melbourne.

    • By: Alchemyrider Posted: August 18, 2020

      Arif is safe and well in locked down Melbourne Em. Thank you for asking.

      He still has his job and isn’t inconvenienced much by the movement controls.

      That was an impressive rocket launch into the coronavirus in Tony’s blog post.

      • By: The Navigator Posted: August 18, 2020

        Oh, that’s good to hear! The restrictions have been a really, really difficult time for some people.

  3. By: NancyG Posted: August 18, 2020

    Beautiful art work there. I had never heard of the joss stick. Almost seems a shame to burn such artful items. Very interesting about them.

    • By: Alchemyrider Posted: August 18, 2020

      I’m glad you enjoyed the photograph, Nancy.

Leave a Reply