Candles, incense and ceremonies

I was reminded today of a photograph I took this time seven years ago. It was on a trip to Cuba with The London Lucumi Choir, and we visited the Rincón Sanctuary 25 miles outside of Havana. On December 17th each year the larger annual pilgrimage takes place and thousands of people visit the former leper colony and pray for healing. The rituals are a syncretic fusion of Catholicism and Santeria and offerings are made to San Lazaro and its Afrocuban equivalent Babalu Aye.

Here’s an image I took that day; a kind of still life with sunflower and cigars:

rincon still life


I have recently returned from Japan and have taken lots of photographs which I’ve been sorting through. So far I’ve only shared mobile uploads on my Instagram feed but I’m going to start here with a photograph I took at another shrine – this time the Zen Buddhist Temple of Nanzen-Ji in Kyoto. Here’s a photo of burning incense. Visitors (myself included) make an offering and then pray over burning incense … the smell is incredible!



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