Incense Sticks


Incense Burner


As the name suggests incense burner is an object that is used to burn incenses. It is also known as censer or incense holder. Burning incense leads to dropping of ash and incense holder offers a fine way to collect that cinders. The main function of incense holder is to provide a tray to catch the ashes the incense sticks or cones drop as they burn. These holders facilitate burning of incense and also easy clean up afterwards. Variety of incense holders are used for different types of incenses, like boat and tree holder for sticks, bowl and dish holder for cones, etc. Incense holders are made in different shapes, designs and material. Traditionally made in wood or metal, they are now available in stone, glass, PVC, ceramic and other unusual materials. Though comes in various shapes and designs, typical incense holder has a hole drilled into it for the incense stick to be placed and a plate to hold the ash. The shape, design and decoration of incense holder is also influenced by religious believes and traditions of particular place like, in Chinese tradition lotus shaped

  incense holders are more admired as they represent wisdom and purity and believed to attract good fortune. Today incense burners and holders are available in so much varied shapes, metals and designs that they not only used for burning incenses but also adored as a favored home décor object. Be it sleek and simple or intricate and detailed, you can find an incense burner to suit your decor.  

Types of Incense Burners or Holders

Different incense burners are required for burning different incense items, as sticks need a burner with a hole to insert them while cones need more flat burner to place the cone in right position. Sticks are most commonly used incense thus the most common incense burners are also stick burners. A stick burner may be simple boat burner with single hole or an elaborated dish or stand type burner with multiple holes for holding many sticks at a time. The design and embellishment of the incense burner is generally influenced by the religious implication of the user. Simple earthenware, magnificently designed silver or golden vessels - all serve as incense burners.

Some commonly used types of incense burners are:


Ash Catcher or Boat burner - It is the most common stick incense holder. Usually made of wood it is a long, flat wooden piece that curves up at one end. The curved end has a small hole and the uncoated end of the bamboo incense stick is placed in this hole. Apart from basic wooden variety, these burners are also available in ceramic, glass, stone, aluminum and bone. These burners may be plain or ornately painted or inlaid with brass.



  Tree shaped holder - Such holders are usually wooden or stone centerpieces with a series of holes drilled into the top. This type of holder can hold several sticks at once in nearly upright straight position. They require less space and hold more incense than boat burner.  
  Box – These holders are long boxes that can be used for both containing as well as burning the sticks. These are usually wooden boxes in which the stick is lit inside the box and covered, smoke escapes from the gaps provided in the lid. The box has a slit where the incense stick can be placed.  
  Bowl - Bowls are most simple yet perfect incense burners. Made from clay, ceramic or any other material bowls can be used for burning up sticks, cones, coils, or any incense. These bowls need to be filled half way with sand, for  inserting sticks into them.  

Censer – Though the term censer is used synonymously with incense burner, it is a type of incense burner used in religious ceremonies. These are bowl or pod shaped burners with chains to hang them from the ceiling.Usually the bowl is filled with hot coal and the incense is smoldered on that coals. Use of censer adds a special meaning to rituals and marks a pleasant way to burn incense.


Dish – Dish is also very commonly used incense burner. Made in different shapes and materials, these dishes can be used for burning sticks, cones, coils or any incense. The dish can be plain with single hole in the centre for inserting stick or placing cone. Dishes can also be designed with decorative patterns and multiple holes for burning number of sticks together.


Pod – These burners have distinguished globular body set on a high, narrow foot. Made in metal, stone or wood these are very handy to use. The upper body is usually detachable hence, it is easy to clean the burner after use. Some pod shaped burners also small plate attached at bottom to hold the incense cinders. These burners can be simple or decorated with stones or inlay work.


Pot - Pot shaped burners come in round, square or octagonal shape with three or four legs. They may be designed with or without lid, lid usually has many holes in which the sticks are placed.

  Figurative Burners - Many figures are popularly used in incense burners. Figurative burners are made with animal, human or sacred figures. Gods and Goddesses are also popular theme in such burners. These burners are used by people of different religions with interest and faith, like laughing Buddha from feung shui and Ganesha from Indian mythology are quite popular in figurative artwork.  

Incense Sticks

Incense Sticks Introduction
Incense Burns
Incense Sticks Types


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