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Burning Bamboo Stick Incense on the 30th day of the Seventh Lunar Month

Updated: 2021-09-09

The 300-year-old folk custom of Burning Bamboo Stick Incense to sacrifice to the King of the Inferno on the 30th day of the seventh lunar month took root on Jiuhua Mountain in Anhui 1,200 years ago.

Villagers make a resting-pier for the incense, burn it for blessings, and brandish a fire dragon to encourage the King of the Inferno to bestow seeds of kindness, good fortune, safety, and favorable weather for crops.

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Fire dragons dance around burners of incense [Photo by Zhang Fan / Guanhai App]

The rite includes five procedures: processing the bamboo branches as incense sticks; making the oval incense pier out of clay, sweet potatoes, taros, pumpkins, carrots, white gourds or the like; making the fire dragon; placing burning incense sticks around residences and ponds, in front of gnome kobolds, and so on; and then burning paper clothes and ghost money.

Iron thread is used to make the dragon head and tail whereas plastic balls are applied as eyes, and roots of the banyan tree are used as the beard with a golden yellow pumpkin as the dragon ball. Several planks 90cm long and 6cm wide are made for the incense sticks on top with a wooden stick below as a handle for the dragon carriers.


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