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Friday, March 16, 2012

joss sticks urn

Intricately detailed joss sticks urn at Tua Pek Kong Temple, Sibu Sarawak.

Tua Pek Kong Sibu. 22nd January 2012. Eve of Chinese New Year. This elaborate and tall brass urn is beautifully detailed. There are dragons embossed on the belly of the urn, with two of them forming the handles. The top is a Chinese pavilion with a two-layer roof, and little dragons perched at each corner. The four pillars of the pavilion are also intricately detailed.

The small joss sticks are lit and held in the hands during prayers in the temple, after which, they are placed standing in the sand filled urn and left to burn out. They are slightly fragrant.
Metal racks holding new pillar-like 'dragon' joss sticks are found on both sides of the urn. The urn is seated in front of a low decorated wall which also holds the large pillar joss sticks while they burn out. Beyond the wall is the Rejang River.

The smoke from these joss sticks are neither acrid nor irritating, emitting the fragrance of the materials used. All in all, there is a solemn ambience to these offerings to heaven.