Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spiral (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

For years, slowly-burning spiral coils of incense were among those sights -- and smells -- that, through tourist brochures, I got to associating with traditional Hong Kong. But a friend from a Cantonese-majority part of Malaysia told me that spiral -- as opposed to, say, the Hokkiens' straight sticks of incense -- are to be found in Chinese Taoist temples wherever the worshippers' are Cantonese.

And I did indeed encounter such sights on visits to another Cantonese-majority territory in the form of neighboring Macau. (As an example, this Photo Hunt's second photo was taken at the Lin Fung Temple in Macau.)

At the same time, spiral coils of incense can seem particular beloved in Hong Kong. Or maybe their high density inside of such as the Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road may just be symptomatic of Hong Kongers' tendency -- propensity even? -- for high density everything (rather than just housing)! ;b


jmb said...

No shortage of photos for you this week YTSL. They are great photos and I love to see what you come up with each week.

Happy weekend to you.

Carver said...

In addition to being perfect for the theme, this was a very interesting post. Happy weekend.

EastCoastLife said...

For the whole month of February I was greeted with these huge spiral incense whenever I visited temples. I have so many pictures of them and didn't think of using them for this week's theme. ish.

Happy weekend!

CRIZ LAI said...

Haha... I expected you to post this up this week since you have many photos of temples. Bingo! Nice shots! :P

jams o donnell said...

Wow they are incese spirals. I was wondering what they were! Great take on the theme

YTSL said...

Hi jmb --

Yup, have to say that what to put up for this week's Photo Hunt was kinda a no-brainer for me... Thanks for your nice comments as always -- and happy weekend to you too. :)

Hi Carver --

Thanks as ever for reading as well as looking! :)

Hi EastCoastLife --

So... those spiral incense coils abound in Singapore too? Interesting!

Hi Criz Lai --

Uh oh... have I become that predictable? Or is that you've really come to know me well? ;b

Hi jams --

Yep, that is indeed what they are! ;b

Alice Audrey said...

Cool. At first I thought they were bells. They look like giant egg beaters.

julie said...

Those spiral incense trigger my allergy so I put some distance between these and myself :(

Happy weekend!

ipanema said...

thanks for ur i know what those spiral things are in the temple. :)

bing said...

thank you for this information. it is a lovely take for the theme. who would've thought that a straight and spiral incense have their own unique characteristics?

Gattina said...

Very interesting story ! I had never seen those "lamps"

Anna said...

I would have never guessed that those spirals were coils of slow-burning incense!
Very clever and interesting to take images that say something about your local culture.
Happy weekend!

Anneke (Mudhooks) said...

I thought at first they were mosquito repellent. A friend in Australia sent a photo of their "mozzie"repellent, a huge spiral. I've never seen them here, at all. and never seen incense like this.

gengen said...

Oh that looks cool. Happy hunting...Good choice for the theme. Happy hunting.

Sassy Mom said...

Cool choice for this week's theme and a very interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

healingmagichands said...

Wow, love the spirals and love the education too. I'm just sharing pretty pictures this week:

candi said...

Interesting post, YTSL, and great spirals for the theme.

Lulu said...

Wow...those are very cool! Interesting to learn about them.

Mrs Mecomber said...

I knew I'd see some exotic spirals here today! Great photos and, as always, excellent little history lesson.

I also read your post about Jackie Chan. I'm not fond of Hollywood, anyway, so I think I tend to side with the natives about him. ;)

My Spiral post is here. I hope you can visit. :)

Annie said...

Very interesting to learn about these incense spirals and the photos are beautiful.

YTSL said...

Hi Alice Audrey --

Teehee re what you thought those incense coils looked like/were! ;b

Hi Julie --

One of them is probably okay but agree that it's safest for you to stay clear of a whole group of them -- like in the Man Mo Temple!

Hi ipanema --

Glad to have helped you figure out something. :)

Hi Bing --

You're welcome. And thanks for reading and looking. :)

Hi Gattina --

Are lamps what they resemble for you? ;b

Hi Anna --

Strictly speaking, it's not my local culture but it's nice to be considered a Hong Konger... :)

Hi Anneke --

Heheh, know what you mean. But for some reason, those spiral mosquito coils I've seen have been green in color. :)

Hi gengen --

Agree that it looks cool. :)

Hi Sassy Mom --

You're welcome! :)

Hi healingmagichands --

Thanks for reading as well as looking. :)

Hi Candi --

Thanks! :)

Hi Lulu --

Am so glad that visiting Photo Hunters are into reading as well as looking. :)

Hi "Mrs Mecomber" --

Thanks for checking out more than one post. And re Jackie Chan: I've not entirely given up on him as an actor/director myself. But in terms of his politics, etc... :S

Hi Annie --

Am glad you got as much as you did out of this entry. :)

Anna said...

I left a comment earlier, but you haven't had time to approve of it.
I saw your comment on my post.
To play "tourist in your own town" must be more rewarding in Hong Kong than in little, tiny Norrkoping, where I only have about five places of interest lined up so far. If you want to use my phrase "Tourist in my own town", that's ok, but I would be grateful if you say that you got the idea from me.
Or what do you think? Should I open this up for anyone? With a badge? A new meme? Or a meme that can be used parallell with other memes such as PhotoHunt or all of these colour-memes?
Please let me know what you think.
Best wishes

Furkidsmom said...

Cool photos - we can almost "smell" the incense!

Sniffie and the Florida Furkids

lui said...

those are incense? very very nice! thanks for posting, its interesting to see a nice photo and learn more about another culture.

Teena in Toronto said...

I adore incense!

I played too ... come check it out.

Smalltown RN said...

Wow those are amazing....I wondered what they were thank you for sharing

magiceye said...

that was so interesting

Horsoon said...

I like pics of temples and yours are some of the good ones I find; especially the 1st one with massive numbers of spiral incense - What a scene :)

A. said...

The thought of all those incense coils in the top picture all burning at once is enough to start up an asthma attack!

Sorry to be so very late to get around to visit.

YTSL said...

Hi again Anna --

Thanks for the offer but to be honest, I don't think I'd use that phrase for myself. As for memes: I think I only have time for Photo Hunt at the moment. But wow, you do sound quite ambitious re spreading the idea... ;b

Hi Furkidsmom --

With a name like Sniffie... ;b

Hi Lui --

And thanks for your liking to learn about another culture. :)

Hi Teena in Toronto --

Actually, incense is not my favorite thing in the world to smell... but I do like the look of those coils. ;b

Hi Smalltown RN --

Did you see them before but not know what they were? If so, am really pleased to have been able to help you learn what they are. :)

Hi magiceye --

Glad you found that to be the case! :)

Hi Horsoon --

I like pictures of temples too. One of my few bugbears about Hong Kong is that many of the Taoist temples forbid photography inside them. Fortunately that's not the case for the Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road -- or those in Macau as well as Malaysia.

Hi A. --

Better late than never! And oh dear re your fears of asthma attacks! And let me assure you that the Man Mo Temple in Hollywood Road does have an unusually large amount of incense coils in comparison to other temples... ;b

Susanne said...

Very interesting! I didn't realize those were spirals of incense.

YTSL said...

Hi Suzanne --

If you smelt them, you'd be left in no doubt that they were spirals of incense though! ;b

Ann said...

I recall watch these on Singapore TV.

YTSL said...

Hi Ann --

From EastCoastLife's comments, thought you could see them in real life, not just on TV, in Singapore... ;b

noel said...


this is my first time visiting this new photohunt site, i love your interpretation and i’m inpired to join also, i enjoyed your take of the weekly challenge and seeing the insense spirals

Have a great weekend.

YTSL said...

Hi Noel --

Thanks for visiting and am glad you've been inspired to join Photo Hunt. Find it thought-provoking and lots of fun -- and hope you will too. :)

Marta said...

Those are very interesting photos. That is a lot of incense. The spirals in the first photo reminded me of the fishing baskets we saw in Malaysia.

YTSL said...

Hi Marta --

Spiral like fishing baskets in Malaysia? I've never seen those before! :O