Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Last night I attended the annual Lantern Floating Ceremony at Magic Island. What a beautiful experience. The ceremony "remembers those who gave their lives in conflict, allows for reflection on the memories of loved ones and dedicates prayers for a peaceful and harmonious future."
Even though I don't like crowds and was feeling a little under the weather, I told myself I would go this year. I've seen the beautiful images of the lanterns floating on the water and knew I had to take my camera and go. Over 40,000 people were in attendance, yet my daughter and I were able to make our way to the water's edge for a good view. As the 2,000 lanterns were released, I found myself wading into the water (jeans and all) to get a closer view.
The music, the ceremony, and the incredible sight of the lanterns floating off in the distance was truly one of those "chicken-skin" experiences. If you've never gone, this is one of those events you shouldn't miss. The event is sponsored and officiated by a Buddhist sect in Hawaii, but people of all religions participate and the ceremony is one of "inclusion and harmony". What a great concept!!
And in case you're wondering, the lanterns are collected from the ocean before they get too far out to sea. This keeps the environment safe and the platforms are re-used the following year.