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Oahu Celebrates Memorial Day With Floating LanternsMay 18, 2011 By: Jena Tesse Fox
On Memorial Day, May 30, more than 40,000 residents and visitors are expected to participate in the 13th Annual Lantern Floating Hawaii. Three thousand candle-lit lanterns will be set afloat from Oahu's Magic Island. The theme of Lantern Floating Hawaii is “Many Rivers, One Ocean.”
The 90-minute ceremony and program will commence at 6:30 p.m. with special performances by Shinnyo Taiko, HAPA, the Ai Family, Halau Hula O Kamuela, and Shinnyo-en Shomyo Choir. At 7 p.m., Her Holiness Keishu Shinso Ito, Head of Shinnyo-en, will address the crowd with a speech, followed by the lighting of the Light of Harmony. After the lighting of the Light of Harmony, the lanterns will be launched onto the waters of Magic Island by participants of the program and the general public. At the conclusion of the ceremony, as in past years, all lanterns are collected from the ocean and recycled for use in the upcoming years.
This year’s Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony will also include special elements to honor the thousands of lives that were lost during the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, including a moment of reflection and a dedication to the victims on one of the large “parent” lanterns.
Lanterns will be available at the lantern request tent at Magic Island beginning at 1 p.m. on May 30 on a first-come, first-served basis. Families wishing to float a lantern are asked to limit themselves to one lantern per family to accommodate as many people as possible. Multiple remembrances can be written on each four-sided lantern. Lanterns are free, but donations received will be donated to the City & County of Honolulu.
Free event parking is available at the Hawaii Convention Center from 9 a.m. until midnight. A complimentary shuttle will transport attendees between the Hawaii Convention Center and Magic Island from 4-6:15 p.m. and back to the Convention Center from 8-9 p.m.
For more information, visit www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com.