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.