Volunteers build over 2,000 floating lanterns for Memorial day event

Roy Ho
Roy Ho

By Paul Drewes bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Dozens of volunteers are putting together the pieces of what will eventually be a touching and spiritual event - that brings thousands to our shores.

It is a moving event on Memorial Day.

Thousands of candle lit lanterns launched into the water as the sun goes down.

"Lantern floating is a tradition to honor our ancestors and those who have gone before us," said Roy Ho, with Na Lei Aloha Foundation.

Each year, tens of thousands come out to remember loved ones who have passed, send out hopes of a harmonious future or be just touched by this spiritual ceremony.

"It's a shared experience with everyone. But within that - there is a private moment that is personnel only to you and that is hard for words to describe," added Ho.

But to get ready for that big event, volunteers began the laborious process of putting together over two thousand lanterns. Which are cleaned again from last year's use then assembled.

"Its actually a 4 part process, you have a base, a lantern, a rudder and then the prayers will go on. Prayers will actually be sent to us from all over the world"

After the lantern floating, those prayers are then sent to Japan and burned in another spiritual ceremony.

The big event is only two months away, that means many are busy with the construction of the unique memorials. Individuals can also put together their own lantern, and float it during the ceremony. The lanterns are free.

For those who would like to submit messages of loved ones, they can send them to Na Lei Aloha Foundation's website www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com before the Memorial Day event that takes place at Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park.