HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - For a second year, the annual Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony that normally attracts thousands of people to the shores of Ala Moana Beach Park won’t be taking place in its traditional form because of the pandemic.
In addition to a special television broadcast, organizers announced a new way for people near and far to honor loved ones who have passed on.
On the grounds of the Shinnyo-en temple in Honolulu, organizers say a large-scale lantern will be installed as a space for reflection. It will be designed by artist Hide Tsutsui. The lantern will be adorned with a silhouette of a kukui tree, which symbolizes light, hope and renewal.
A four-paneled mural created by artist Boz Schurr along with Kamehameha Schools students will also be installed.
Participants will be able to write and hang prayers and messages on the trees within the art installation. During their time of reflection, people may also use the space as an unguided “walking meditation” area.
The exhibit opens May 21 and lasts until June 5 with the hours of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations can be made by clicking here starting May 1.
“Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai’i has become an event that many look forward to as a way to feel connected with loved ones, past and present, in some tangible and meaningful way,” said Rev. Craig Yamamoto, community relations manager of Shinnyo-en Hawai’i.
“We wanted to offer opportunities for people, near and far, to still feel connected and supported by Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai’i, while keeping our communities safe and healthy,” Yamamoto added.
Those who can’t visit the temple in person may send in their remembrances online here starting April 12. Tributes received between April 12 and June 4 may be included as part of the art installation.
And on Memorial Day, ‘Share Your Light - A Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi Special’, a 30-minute program, will air on KGMB starting at 6:30 p.m. It will also be streamed online on social media platforms.