Although there will be no traditional lantern floating festival held at Ala Moana Beach this Memorial Day, organizers are offering a walk-through art installation that participants can visit in person.
Shinnyo-en Hawaii will offer the public “Many Rivers, One Ocean: Interactive Experience,” an art installation that includes a large-scale lantern by lighting artist Hideaki Tsutsui across from the temple on Beretania Street.
The public is invited to book 30-minute visits to the interactive art installation as a way to feel connected with loved ones — past and present — from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday to June 5.
Reservations are being accepted at lanternfloatinghawaii.com.
The lantern will glow with a silhouette of a kukui tree which symbolizes light, hope and renewal, according to Shinnyo-en Hawaii, accompanied by a four-panel mural hand-painted by local artist Kumu Boz Schurr.
Students from the Kamehameha Schools Art Club and Mural Club also painted eight, single-panel murals that include online submissions of messages and photos received online.
Visitors may write their remembrances and commitments to positive action on special cards, and hang them on the Kukui Tree Lantern in the installation.
Those unable to participate in-person may submit their remembrances, prayers and commitments at lanternfloatinghawaii.com.
“We are excited to share this immersive experience with the community as a way for families and friends to feel connected,” said Rev. Craig Yamamoto, community relations liaison of Shinnyo-en Hawaii, in a news release. “We hope those who participate in this in-person interactive experience will be able to reflect and remember those who have gone before us and can look with hope toward the future.”
Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaii will also offer “Share Your Light – A Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai‘i Special,” a 30-minute program to be broadcast and livestreamed online at lanternfloatinghawaii.com from 6:30 to 7 p.m. and broadcast on KGMB.
Prior to the pandemic, participants on Memorial Day would write personal messages on 7,000 candle-lit lanterns and set them afloat on the ocean at Ala Moana to honor loved ones.
The traditional, in-person ceremony at Ala Moana was canceled for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.
The releasing of the lanterns is a symbolic, collective vow to work toward a peaceful future, where each person commits to strive for their best through expressing their “shinnyo,” a term used to describe “our best selves,” according to organizers.
For more information, email email@example.com or call 942-1848, ext. 2.