Lanterns to be floated in Honolulu on Memorial Day

HONOLULU (AP) - An annual lantern floating ceremony in remembrance of the dead will be held at Ala Moana Beach Park on Memorial Day.

The Japanese Buddhist sect Shinnyo-en is once again organizing the event which remembers family and friends who have passed.

Some participants say the ceremony helps them cope with loss, as though physically setting lanterns in the water enables them to spiritually let go of someone they're mourning.

In Japan, the centuries-old tradition is generally observed in July or August to coincide with obon, the season when ancestors are honored.

In Hawaii, Shinnyo-en holds a ceremony on Memorial Day to help it gain wider public acceptance.

Volunteers are starting this month to build lanterns that will be used in the ceremony.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.