“Incense papers burning” tradition in urban living

May 23, 2006 at 11:15 p05 (Singapore)

Cannot burn incense papers, issit?

Then, why provide incense burner here?

In highly urbanised Singapore, it is difficult to maintain the tradition of incense burning without irritating residents whose flats' windows are facing the burners. Instead of punitive measures, isn't it better to have better designed burners that can eradicate the smoke and keep the ashes from flying around? Or have a designated area where the smoke and ashes will not be a nuisance. However, i learned from my lo ma chi that burning must be done as close to our apartment as possible, which usually means downstair, so whoever we are offering the incense to, know it is from us. Hello! the offerings are not for people like you and me. The so-called "they" are celestial beings who do not subscribe to the constraints of our physical world… so why do we need to confine our burning to any available space downstair and irritate the hell out of our neighbours living in the lower storey? Traditions steep in the Taoist belief are fine with me but can't we update it abit?

Maybe the Taoist mission (www.taoism.org.sg) can enlighten on the subject.

Is it true that burning must be close to the apartment of the burners?

If electric candles can be used, can we use electronic substitute for this tradition?



  1. F¡яєвџяN said,

    wah..use electric candles..thats very funky, haha

  2. me said,

    electronic burning of paper offerings? can see but cannot touch. later ancestors angry ler? think we main main them 🙂

  3. Helen said,

    No need so mar fan. Maybe can supplement an Amex to use for down under.. ….

    I bet Visa, Master and JCB also accepted…

  4. Leonard said,

    well, this is a very sensitive question sia….

    i dunn see such sign in my estate…maybe u shld write in to TODAY or lao lee office to check why the sign is there!

  5. Ricket said,

    Online burning better…ha ha ha

  6. Zara's Mama said,

    Oh boy! You get fined even to burn incense.

    Singapore is a ‘fine’ country indeed.

  7. Helen said,

    No inspiration for new posts ar?? Never fear, I come to the rescue!! lol

    I tagged you!

  8. Cocka Doodle said,

    When are you coming over to JB with MS for a pig out session?

  9. blurblur said,

    I always try to ‘stir clear’ when i see people burning ashes…because my cheeks was ‘kissed’ by the ashes (still burning hot) when i was around 7yo…luckily it didn’t left a ‘permanent mark’ on my face…

  10. See Fei said,

    fireburn-burn no good lah. so passe…

  11. See Fei said,

    You are so thoughtful. I dont know whether all women are like dat! Have not burned anything for my low dau since he passed away for 8 years.

    Only this year i sent his a Merz…all cos SO reminded me. Am trying to send his a golf course next year…if i know where to buy one. Otherwise, i got to make it myself.

    and you know what? my car number came out 2 weeks after cheng meng!! Niamah!!

    angry never mind…as long as dont come and kacau me at night ….wooooo

    yup…so sensitive but i still feel we should air this problem. no point just talk about it. better to solve it, right?

    Thank you for the concern. On the question of inspiration, i am not running low on the idea tank. It is just i am rather busy on my current project….which involves ahem.. some get-rich scam…oppss! i meant scheme. This scheme is just right for you and John.

    watch my next post.

    in the meantime will work on the tag…

  12. See Fei said,

    online burning…y not? maybe one can send for an order for something to be burn at bright hill temple where they have a big facility for burning. you can scan your handwriting on the yellow strip of paper to be pasted onto the offering

    zara’s mama
    ya here gahmen very smart. let you have burner to burn, then fine you afterward. LOL

    Send me the map and i will get MS there. How to contact you, got photo or not? Worry i call the wrong chicken hahaha!! Oops… u r a cock hor!!

    thank goodness…bettter steer clear.

  13. ellaelax-na said,

  14. Cialis said,

    sOqVGh Excellent article, I will take note. Many thanks for the story!

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