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In Hue incense village, fragrance shows its colors
By Tuyet Khoa - Thanh Nien News -

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.

 A shop owner at Thuy Xuan Village prepares to dry incense sticks in the sun. Photos: Tuyet Khoa

An experienced worker can make thousands of incense sticks a day.

 Bamboo sticks are being dried before incense mix is applied on them. 

The sticks are displayed on shelves at a shop. 

 Thuy Xuan Village attracts many visitors who come to learn how incense sticks are made.

 

Many households in Thuy Xuan now use machines to make incense.

 A woman makes incense sticks by hand.

A buyer ties incense sticks into bunches. Thuy Xuan incense is sold across Vietnam.

 
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.