Through thousands of generations, the rice was closely connected with the people of Vietnam by the indispensable presence in every meal. And if the seeds of rice attach to humans by the practical material needs of life, when referring to the spiritual life, the typical is the smoke from the incense. The faint and smooth scent of joss sticks make the sacred ropes that associate human life with the earth, the gods, and the ancestors in the eternal world. Incenses sticks went into cultural life and beliefs of Vietnamese people as a traditional, intimate, and spiritual beauty. The incense-burning ritual is a habit that not only Vietnamese people but also all Asian people no matter where they live and in any ages are known. In the minds of people, they believe that burning incense also creates a bridge connecting two worlds, visible and invisible, to each other.
Experiencing 400 years of ups and downs of history, the village is still famous for its traditional craft of making incense by a separate shade getting nowhere. Generations of Lai Trieu people still remember the merits of the ancestor of the craft, Mr. Bui Nhan Toan. From other places, when he passed the land of Lai Trieu he found that Lai Trieu was a fertile land and had a lot Vetiver grass, then he stopped here and taught the craft of making incense for villagers. He is a fair, honorable, faithful, and kind people. Thanks to him, the village was wealth and high-placed. With the recognition of the ancestor, Lai Trieu incense village has existed more than 400 years ago and has gone into the folklore of many generations.
With the people here, they have stuck with the traditional craft of making incense of ancestors all year round. The bright sunny days of summer are precious days in the year because Vetiver grasses are dried in the sunshine that will retain the most natural aroma and has a distinct aroma that nowhere has, it is very fragrant but mild, a pure taste of nature.
The incense of Lai Trieu has such a kind of scent because raw materials to make incense are selected carefully by the local people, without the addition of any chemicals. They are roots of Vetiver grass, sugar cane, coal powder and resin of Canarium trees. To make an incense stick, first of all, the producer must mix resin of Canarium trees with coal powder. Sugar cane and roots of Vetiver grass also are minced, dried, crushed and mixed to make up the dry mixture. The more sweet of sugar cane, the more fragrant when making incense. Bamboo sticks after being swept with a mixture of coal and resin of Canarium are rolled through a mixture of sugar cane and roots of Vetiver grasses. Making incense requires meticulousness, high level of techniques and non-doped materials of making incense because burning incense is an expression of the human with the divine, with ancestors.
Come to Lai Trieu, visitors will easily catch the image of the whole family at all ages from the elderly, middle-aged to young children making incense together. Moreover, tourists will know about the daily life of a traditional village, and admire the products with a special scent without finding anywhere. Traveling around Hanoi, take some day trips to visit ancient traditional villages would be an interesting experience to learn more about the culture and lifestyle of Vietnamese people.