In Hue incense village, fragrance shows its colors

By Tuyet Khoa, Thanh Nien News

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The colorful sticks are arranged into flowers before being dried in the sun. Photo: Tuyet Khoa The colorful sticks are arranged into flowers before being dried in the sun. Photo: Tuyet Khoa
Vietnam's Lunar New Year has a distinct smell. And a small village in the central city of Hue knows a thing or two about it. 
For centuries, families in Thuy Xuan Village have been making incense for the whole nation.
Their incense sticks have many different aromas, including the popular agarwood, cinnamon and pine. 
The sticks are very colorful as well. They are usually dyed red, yellow or purple as the villagers believe incense should be both fragrant and beautiful. 
To make incense, people cover a small stick of bamboo that has been dyed and dried with a mix of scented powder. The sticks used to be handmade, but now many families use machines to help them produce more in a short time. 
An experienced worker can now make thousands of incense sticks per day.
“The craft has been preserved in Thuy Xuan for centuries. Everybody here knows very well the tradition,” said Loan, a local.
 
Thuy Xuan is located at the foot of Vong Canh Hill, around seven kilometers southwest of Hue. Currently there are more than 20 families making incense here.
Visiting the village these days tourists can see large bunches of bamboo sticks being dried in the sun. From afar, they look like blossoming flowers.
Incense sticks are priced at VND60,000-80,000 per kilogram. For a more special scent, pay VND150,000 per kilo. 

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