Held every Memorial Day, the Floating Lantern Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii brings together over 50,000 locals and tourists to celebrate a long-standing tradition that entails lighting up 5,000 candle lanterns and sending them floating on the sea off Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park.
This was first held at Ke‘ehi Lagoon in 1999. It has grown into a very big event that it is now. Shinnyo-en and Na Lei Aloha Foundation are responsible for organizing and overseeing the event.
This spectacular tradition draws in not only Hawaiian residents but also tourists from different parts of the world. The lanterns that float on the sea are tribute to all the departed loved ones, and a prayer for peace and harmony in the world. The ceremony also symbolizes the uplifting of human affliction in different countries.
Volunteers are welcome to create their own lanterns as early as March. Those who attend the event are encouraged to float their own lantern, or write a message of prayer or remembrance on special paper placed within the lanterns. Messages can be submitted starting at 10 a.m. on the ceremony day at the Lantern Request tent located within the venue premises.
Although there’s no charge to do so, voluntary donations are welcome. The donations will be given to the City and County of Honolulu for the maintenance of Ala Moana Beach Park.
It’s also possible to give your messages ahead of time. You can send them to Shinnyo-en Hawaii located at 2348 South Beretania Street from May 19 up to May 26. If you can’t visit the temple personally or attend the event but you wish to partake in the event in some way, you can also send your message online at www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com.Image Source: dailyawesimity.wordpress.com