So many different cultures have used incense religiously since the Egyptians, there are too many to mention. But here are some of the highlights:
- Chinese Taoist temples: Large coils of incense were always burning to set the space apart from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
- Chinese Buddhist temples: The incense is used to burn a Buddhist monk or nun's scalp during ordination and the burning usually lasts for 5 minutes, produces 6 to 12 circular scars.
- Japanese Shinto temples: The incense is placed in horizontal piles and kept burning constantly, with the bottom layers staying unlit.
I haven’t delved into all the ways incense has been used in religious practice but it is fascinating to discover how pervasive the practice of lighting incense is in the world of religious worship.