Event Finds: Waikiki
Lantern Floating Hawaii
Each Memorial Day, Ala Moana Beach Park lights up with Lantern Floating Hawai‘i - a longstanding local event which invites participants to celebrate the lives of those who have passed. Hosted by the Shinnyo-en Buddhist Order the event typically attracts tens of thousands of kama‘aina and visitors from around the world who float through Magic Island to participate in the local tradition.
Arrive early to lock in your own lantern. The "lantern tent" opens at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day, but the line lengthens quickly to snap up the paper lanterns, which share handwritten notes of remembrance. For those who hope to share a message or memory of a loved one, all notes submitted online at www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com at least one week prior to the event will be included on the lanterns released during the ceremony. Lanterns are free but donations are accepted on behalf of the City and County of Honolulu.
Pack a picnic and some lawn chairs and spend the day sunning and surfing as you wait for the main event at dusk. Leading up to the lantern ceremony participants also enjoy a bright lineup of entertainment including song and dance. As the sun sets participants release more than 5,000 lanterns inscribed with messages to their loved ones into the Pacific Ocean.