How to Burn Incense Sticks Properly

Incense is more than just an oriental method for freshening the air – it is associated with many a spiritual and religious rituals, and is believed by many to have mystical properties. If you are looking to attain spiritual enlightenment, or simply looking to lace the air with an Eastern fragrance, it is essential to know how to light incense sticks properly, in order to keep them burning for as long as possible.

Things Required:

– Incense stick
– Incense holder
– Lighter or match


  • 1

    Purchase incense which has a scent that appeals to you, to get the most out of the experience. While there are traditional, spiced Eastern scents, incense sticks nowadays are also available in a variety of fragrances, much like candles. These include cinnamon, lavender, rose, etc.


    Burning incense sticks
  • 2

    When you are ready to burn it, start by holding the incense stick from the correct end – the end that is thicker, and coated, is the end you will be lighting up, so pick the stick up from the end that is thinner, and not coated.

  • 3

    Now light up a match or lighter, and hold the flame under the tip of the thick, coated end. Wait until it catches fire, and when it does, remove the flame from underneath.

    Enjoying incense
  • 4

    Allow the flame to burn for a while – after some time, the flame will taper off itself, and if it does not, you can blow it out yourself. Allow it to burn for a few seconds at most – do not let it remain on fire, as this will lead to a wasted stick of incense.

  • 5

    Once you have succeeded in lighting it properly, put it in the incense holder – this will have a hole, in which you can secure the stick, and a tray, which will catch any ashes that might fall.

    An incense stick holder
  • 6

    Allow the incense to burn – you will know you have lit it up properly when it begins to glow red, and releases thin, curling streams of smoke. This will be followed by the fragrance, which will permeate the air. As long as the stick continues to release smoke, you will know it is still burning and releasing its scent. When the smoke dies down, and the red glow at the end fades away, this indicates that the stick of incense is finished.

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