Longshan Temple to cut number of incense burners

The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Longshan Temple (龍山寺), one of Taipei’s most popular temples, announced Thursday that it will cut the number of incense burners at the temple from three to one, starting the following day, in an effort to curb PM2.5 particulate emissions.

The move means that worshippers will only have to burn one incense stick instead of placing several of them in different incense burners during their visits, effectively reducing the release of PM2.5 pollutants, according to temple authorities.

Worshippers will be advised to place their stick in the main burner for Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy, before starting their visit during peak times, according to the temple.

When there are not so many people, worshippers can take their stick with them along the way praying to the various deities.

The temple first cut the number of its incense burners from seven to three in 2015, but the concentration of PM2.5 particulates remained high even after the reduction, leading to the temple’s consideration of removing all its incense burners at one point.

However, it abandoned the plan after many worshippers implored the temple authorities to keep at least one incense burner on the premises.

The temple has also reduced the length of each incense stick from 48 centimeters to 39 cm and said it is also currently experimenting with incense from two providers, and will decide which one to use after reviewing the PM2.5 pollutants they create.