• Vietnam's incense village prepares for New Year celebrations
  • Quang Phu Cau, Vietnam, Jan 17 (efe-epa).- Workers in a small village outside Hanoi are working day and night to make millions of red incense sticks in preparation for the new year, or Tet, an epa-efe photojournalist reported on Thursday.

    The “incense village” of Quang Phu Cau, about 40 kilometers outside the Vietnamese capital, blushes in bright hues as production goes into overdrive to meet the demands of the country as well as export markets such as China, India and Malaysia before the celebrations early next month.

    The village is believed to have started making the incense more than 100 years ago.

    It is a painstaking process where workers first have to split bamboo into splints, dry them, then feed them into the machines to create the sticks, before dyeing them.

    Incense is used during Tet to make offerings to ancestors, as seen at the many pagodas in the country.

    Coinciding with the Lunar New Year, Tet falls on Feb. 5 and is one of the most important Vietnamese national holidays. During the break, residents travel to visit friends and family, and go to temples.

    Most businesses are shut but public performances, music and entertainment are put on throughout the country, including dragon and lion dances.