STAR-BULLETIN / MAY 2006
About 400 lanterns were launched from Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park last year at the annual Lantern Floating Hawaii (Toro Nagashi) ceremony hosted by Na Lei Aloha Foundation and Shinnyo-en Hawaii. CLICK FOR LARGE
Lantern ceremony honors deceased
The Ninth Annual Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony to honor loved ones who have died and to offer prayers for peace will be held at 6:30 p.m. Memorial Day, Monday, at Ala Moana Beach Park.
People of all cultures and religious beliefs are welcome to attend the event, sponsored by Na Lei Aloha Foundation and officiated by Shinnyo-en Hawaii, a Buddhist temple.
Keola Beamer, Natalie A'i Kamau'u and Hula Halau Olana A'i will provide entertainment.
The tradition of floating lanterns, or Toro Nagashi, originated in Japan to honor ancestors and comfort the spirits of the deceased. During the event, more than 1,000 candle-lit paper lanterns will be set afloat to transport spirits "from the shore of delusion to the shore of salvation," according to a release. Prayers of consolation will be offered to the spirits of those who have lost their lives in war and their loved ones.
Na Lei Aloha's mission is to embrace and connect people through fostering ohana (family) values and harmonious relationships.
The ceremony is scheduled for Memorial Day to coincide with the American custom of remembering generations of those who died in war along with victims of accidents, natural disasters, famine and disease.
Prayers may be requested at the ceremony from 1 to 6 p.m. with a limited number of lanterns available for placement on the water by individuals.
Free parking is available at the Hawaii Convention Center, with shuttle buses and handicap-accessible van service from 4 p.m. and following the event.
For more information, visit www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com or contact Shinnyo-en Hawaii at 947-2814 or Na Lei Aloha, 942-1848. On the day of the event, contact Shinji Kondo at 220-0648.