Incense

incense
Incense use in religious ritual was either further or simultaneously developed in China, and eventually transmitted to Korea, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. Incense holds an invaluable role in East Asian Buddhist ceremonies and rites as well as in those of Chinese Taoist and Japanese Shinto shrines. It is reputed to be a method of purifying the surroundings, bringing forth an assembly of buddhas, bodhisattvas, gods, demons, and the like. Incense sticks being burnt at a Chinese Buddhist place of worship. In Chinese Taoist and Buddhist temples, the inner spaces are scented with thick coiled incense, which are either hung from the ceiling or on special stands. Worshipers at the temples light and burn sticks of incense in small or large bundles, which they wave or raise above the head while bowing to the statues or plaques of a deity or an ancestor. Individual sticks of incense are then vertically placed into individual censers located in front of the statues or plaques either singularly or in threes, depending on the status of the deity or the feelings of the individual.