Hey loves! Hope you all had a fantastic long weekend filled with rest and relaxation. I’m warning you now—today’s post about the Hawaii Lantern Floating 2016 is going to be a little picture heavy—1) because there are so many gorgeous photos I want to share with y’all and 2) because I’m writing this very late and uploading photos is pretty much the only thing I have the energy to do!!
Anyways, this Memorial Day, Zach and I had the pleasure of attending the Lantern Floating Hawaii here in Honolulu. You can check out the particulars on their website but, in a nutshell, every year on Memorial Day, attendees gather at Ala Moana Beach Park to honor loved ones by releasing candle-lit lanterns into the Pacific Ocean.
The lanterns are free to the public and people are encouraged to take one per family group. I loved that you assembled the lanterns yourself and could write messages and memories onto it. Zach and I dedicated ours to my father-in-law who passed away this past December as well as to a few service members from Zach’s unit.
The ceremony began with the sounding of the pū, or Hawaiian conch shell and included the Oli (Hawaiian chant) and a Hula dance.
This year there were an estimated 50,000 people in attendance and around 6,000 lanterns were set afloat.
The ceremony is rooted in Buddhist tradition and is held so that people from all cultures can come together for ‘a personal and collective moment of remembrance, reflection, and offering gratitude to those who have gone before us’.
The Lantern Floating Ceremony was truly a one-of-a-kind experience for us and I’m so glad that we got to experience this unique part of Hawaiian culture before we leave.
How did you spend your Memorial Day weekend?