|Lantern Festival 2016 by Chris Dacus|
Ala Moana Regional Park, Island of O'ahu
A different way to spend Memorial Day - Lantern Festival at Ala Moana Regional Park. It was a nice event but too many people. In the future, I hope they create more sites around the South Shore of Oahu.
Each year on Memorial Day, crowds gather in Honolulu, Hawaii for the Annual Shinnyo-en Lantern Floating Ceremony. At sundown on the shores of Ala Moana Beach Park, tens of thousands of people watch a service presided over by Shinso Ito, Head Priest of Shinnyo-en, followed by the release of lanterns onto the adjacent bay.
The Lantern Floating is a traditional Buddhist ceremony, in which participants float lanterns down a river or in the ocean. This symbolic ceremony is conducted to honor those who have lost their lives in war or by other unfortunate events or disasters, and to honor loved ones who have passed away. It also carries with it a message of hope toward a harmonious and peaceful world. It is also a collective experience where families, friends and even strangers extend warmth, compassion and understanding to support one-another.
Shinnyo-en is an international Buddhist community founded on the ancient wisdom and love embodied in the Buddha's teachings. The Buddhist term shinnyo denotes both buddhahood (spiritual awakening) and the nature of reality; en refers to a boundless garden or open space. Shinnyo-en is a place for people to discover and develop the buddha, or awakened nature, within themselves through altruistic Buddhist practice.