A visit to the incense-making village of Hung Yen

 The two century old Cao Thon craft village in the northern province of Hung Yen is one of the largest incense-making villages in Vietnam.


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At the village located about 50km southeast of Hanoi, the days leading up to the Hung Kings Festival are a non-stop work effort to churn out incense sticks for the festivities throughout the country.





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Each household in the village can turn out twenty-to-thirty thousand sticks per day, using a time-tested mix of sawdust, cinnamon, sandalwood and sunshine. 





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Incense sticks must be left to dry for one to three days in the sunshine.





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The basic materials for making incense are glue wire that is pulverized, then mixed with herbs such as eucalyptus, galbanum, ginger root, hibiscus, hyssop, iris root and juniper berries.





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Little to none of the process of making incense is automated and virtually all the steps must be carried out by hand.






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Each stage requires careful attention of the workers.





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The last few days before the Hung Kings Festival are bustling with villagers selling all sorts of aromas of incense – cinnamon, black, round, tan beans – to name just a few of the large variety.





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There are more than 100 households in the village in the business of making incense.





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Many families in the village of Cao Thon have produced incense for three or four generations.






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