The 25th Shinnyo lantern floating ceremony returns to Ala Moana Beach Park
Thousands of floating lanterns will light up Ala Moana Beach Park and organizers are asking the public to take part in the ceremony.
It's been three years since the last Shinnyo Lantern Floating ceremony. The event returns in person for the first time on May 29.
Prior to the pandemic, thousands of people would gather near the ocean to remember a loved one who died by participating in the ceremony.
Instead of waiting hours in line for a lantern, organizers say the public will be able to book a reservation starting May 15 at 7 a.m.
Clayton Taniyama, a temple staff member at Shinnyo-En Hawaiʻi, said he has seen people wait in line for a lantern on the day of the event starting as early as 2 a.m. He recommends reserving a lantern this year to increase efficiency.
More than 5,000 lanterns will be available for families. Each lantern comes in a bag and will need to be assembled. Organizers ask that individuals refrain from bringing their own homemade lanterns out of concern for safety.
“If you have a chance to go down to the beach, you’ll see so many different emotions and it’s a very moving ceremony,” Taniyama said. “You’ll experience so many amazing things when you go there and it’s quite an experience even for us doing it for 25 years."
There is no cost to attend. Donations will be accepted on the day of the event, which will go to the City and County of Honolulu for the upkeep of Ala Moana Beach Park.
“You know we end up in tears sometimes seeing people writing their messages or just seeing the things that they go through. So that’s pretty special," Taniyama said.
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