Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony, a must-see tradition

By | Category: Travel news

Should you be lucky enough to find yourself in Oahu (Hawaii) on Memorial Day (an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, which honours men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military), be sure to make for Al Moana Beach Park.

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Every Memorial Day, the popular playground plays host to approximately 50,000 people who gather together for the annual Lantern Floating Hawaii festival.

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Residents and visitors alike are welcome to write messages of love and hope for ones they’ve lost, as well as prayers for peace on a lantern which – after the sounding of the pu (the Hawaiian name for the conch shell) – are then lit and released into the Pacific.

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I attended yesterday’s 90-minute Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony and found it to be a humbling experience. The beach park was packed with people from all walks of life, coming together in a collective moment of love and remembrance.

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The annual ceremony took on added poignancy this year because 2016 – as the history buffs among you, will know – marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour.

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Rain started to fall as the lanterns were released last night, but it didn’t dampen this year’s theme and message –  ‘Many Rivers, One Ocean’ – a heart-felt hope for harmony and peace.

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Pictures: Kaye Holland

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