Interactive Memorial Day Experience Instead of Lantern Floating Festival
Every year on Memorial Day, thousands of people would gather at Ala Moana Beach Park to participate in the lantern floating ceremony -- a Japanese Buddhist tradition to remember loved ones.
Because of the pandemic, last year’s and this year’s lantern floating will look a bit different to follow social distancing requirements.
Rather than sending off thousands of small, individually purchased water lanterns, there will be a singular 12-foot tall lantern decorated at Shinnyo-en Hawai?i. The lantern will feature the silhouette of a Kukui tree, which symbolizes light, hope and renewal.
Shinnyo-en Hawai?i will be hosting an immersive experience art installation from May 21 to June 5.
"It’s open to the general public, but they need to reserve a time to participate by going to our website," said senior advisor Craig Yamamoto. "Reservations will be limited due to the public health and safety concerns."
"Those who aren’t able to participate in person may submit their remembrances, prayers, and commitments to positive actions at our website. The messages and photos we receive through June 4 will be placed inside of this large walkthrough lantern," he said.
Hawaii News Now’s KGMB and the organization's website will air "A Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai?i Special" on May 31 from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.