Aloha! Whether this is your first year being stationed here in Hawaii or your last, the Annual Lantern Floating Ceremony is a must! The event takes place every year on Memorial Day where thousands gather at Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park to honor ancestors and loved ones who have passed away. More than 1,100 candle-lit lanterns are released into the ocean, a traditional Buddhist rite originating in Japan. The ceremony combines the local culture of hula and the sounding of the Pū (Hawaiian Conch shell) with the Japanese Taiko drums.
Those who would like to personally float a lantern during the ceremony may receive one at the lantern request tent on the day of the event from 10am-4pm (one lantern per family until lanterns run out). There are three sides of the lantern that can be used to write remembrances and those who receive an individual lantern will personally place the lantern into the water during the ceremony. If you’re unable to attend the event, you also have the option to submit a remembrance online – those will be hand transcribed by volunteers or printed (depending on when they are received) and put on the Collective Remembrance Lanterns which will be floated by volunteers.
There is no cost to participate in this event and they are always in need of volunteers. This event does get crowded so it’s best to show up early. For all the details about this event go to www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com.