Lantern Float at Ala Moana a Zen-like Remembrance

Memorial Day Event To Attract Nearly 50,000

Lantern Float at Ala Moana a Zen-like Remembrance

Perhaps one of the most serenely picturesque events in the Aloha State is approaching: The annual Memorial Day Lantern Floating remembrance, to be held at Ala Moana Beach Park on May 31. Upwards of 40,000 people attended in last year, to observe more than 2,000 candle-lit lanterns as they floated out to sea from Magic Island. The gesture signifies the coming and going of loved ones, as well as wishes for a peaceful and harmonious future.

The theme, "Many Rivers, One Ocean", will be echoed throughout the day in various performances, speakers and acts. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., residents and visitors will listen to a special performance by the Shinnyo-en Shomyo Choir, followed by a Taiko drumming session. Maui's own Melinda Carol  and the Chorus of Children will also perform, after which, the Halau Hula Olana will demonstrate the art of hula. At 7:00 p.m., Her Holiness Shinso Ito, the head of Shinnyo-en Buddhist temple, will address the crowd with a speech, followed by the lighting of the Torch of Harmony. This will signify the launch of thousands of paper boats alight with candles in to the sea.

As is tradition, following the ceremony, members of the temple and volunteers will retrieve all the lanterns, to be stored for the following year. This marks the 11th year of the float.

Those interested in registering for a lantern to signify a loved one can do so at 1:00 p.m. at Ala Moana Beach Park. Participants are encouraged to write messages to their loved ones on the sides of the lanterns.

You can learn more and see images from last years Lantern Float at www.LanternFloatingHawaii.com, as well as watch a lovely video that explains the significance of the event.

The gesture signifies the coming and going of loved ones, as well as wishes for a peaceful and harmonious future.