Ancestor shrines: from mini to massive


HUE, Vietnam — Tucked into a corner in nearly every home and business in Hue is a shrine to ancestors offering bouquets of smoldering incense and bowls of fruit.

Some are built in the hopes that Buddha will grant good fortune and prosperity. Most are dedicated to ancestors who might provide guidance and protection.

Each morning, people faithfully light candles and lay out fresh food for the spirits. Even travelers’ hostels contain small colorful shrines, and travel agents share desk space with statues of a reclining Buddha.

Hue, with its variety of faiths, turbulent history and recent modernization, retains a strong sense of tradition through ancestor veneration and an undercurrent of spirituality.