Taipei, Feb. 28 (CNA) Longshan Temple, one of Taipei's oldest and most popular temples, announced Friday it will ban the use of incense from March 13 due to environmental and health concerns.
"It is okay to pray with your hands as long as you are sincere," said Fan Tien-cheng (范添成), a community chief in Wanhua District, where the 281-year-old temple is located.
The ban represents an expansion of the temple's candle burning ban introduced in May 2019 in an effort to improve air quality, and after the fire that devastated Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Another famous temple, Xingtian Temple, led the way by ending incense burning and removing all incense burners in August 2014.
Commenting on the decision by Longshan Temple, Wu Meng-huan (吳孟寰), an official at the Taipei Xia-Hai City God Temple, said the temple currently has no plans to ban the use of incense.
The City God temple first reduced the use of incense and incense burners about 20 years ago, but if any further change was made it would probably consider limiting worshipers to burning one incense stick each instead of the current three, Wu said.