HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - From now through May 19, anyone interested in submitting their remembrances prior to the ceremony is welcomed to handwrite them on specially prepared remembrance forms at Shinnyo-en Hawaii (2348 South Beretania Street) during temple hours*. To accommodate those in and outside of Hawai'i who are unable to visit the temple, online submissions are being accepted through Sunday, May 26 at www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com.
"We want to make sure that everyone is aware that people can still participate in Lantern Floating Hawaii even if they are not able to attend the event on Memorial Day," said Craig Yamamoto, reverend of Shinnyo-en Hawaii. "By submitting a remembrance or prayer in advance, we will make sure that each message is placed on a lantern that will be floated during the ceremony."
Remembrances received prior to the ceremony will be placed on Collective Remembrance Lanterns, which are set afloat by volunteers from canoes during the ceremony. Those interested in receiving a lantern to float may request one on the day of the ceremony at the Lantern Request Tent. Lanterns will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis and will not be reserved ahead of time. Therefore, please consider others by limiting one lantern per family or group in order to allow many to participate. Out of primary concern for the safety of participants and to protect the environment, floating homemade lanterns is highly discouraged.
Every year, Lantern Floating Hawaii brings together more than 40,000 residents of Hawai'i and visitors from around the world for a ceremony to set afloat candle-lit lanterns at sunset in remembrance of loved ones who have passed, while creating harmony and hope toward the future. The theme of the event is "Many Rivers, One Ocean," which symbolizes the purpose and essence of the event of bringing together those of different backgrounds during a single collective experience of warmth, compassion and understanding.
The first Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony was held at Ke'ehi Lagoon on Memorial Day 1999 and has grown each year in response to community demand. Shinnyo-en and Nā Lei Aloha Foundation have nurtured the community event as a vehicle for cross-cultural cooperation, understanding, harmony and peace which engages hundreds of volunteers and thousands of participants annually.