As the Lunar New Year draws nearer, the village of Quang Phu Cau, on the outskirts of Ha Noi, works franticallyto make fragrant incense sticks for the Tet festivities. In January, when production rages to meet the demand of the country and neighboring countries like China, India or Malaysia, the village produces tons of sticks and becomes itself magically colorfult, making ita must-seefor scenic landscapes lovers.
Incense is used for ancestor worship. It is the only way to communicate between the world of the living and the world of the dead. The smell of each batch of incense is adapted to the tastes of each region in which the sticks are sold.
Making incense is a laborious process where workers must first split the bamboo into splints, dry them, then introduce them into the machines to create sticks, before dyeing them.
The village of Quang Phu Cau or “Village of Incense” is located about 40 km from Ha Noi and is one of these 1000 villages specialized in a type of craft striving to preserve centuries of tradition and know-how.