Floating Lantern Festival – Ala Moana Beach
MEMORIAL DAY IN THE USA (LATE MAY).
NOW THIS IS A PRETTY SETTING FOR A FESTIVAL. WHAT’S GOING ON?
Part memorial day, part celebration of cultural harmony, this serene lantern festival starts with a sounding of the pu, a Hawaiian conch shell. The call of the pu sanctifies the beach for the beginning of the festival.
AND ONCE THIS BEAUTIFUL BEACH HAS BEEN BLESSED, WHAT HAPPENS THEN?
A series of local customs and rituals designed to call people together in peace and harmony. There’s a performance of the hula and an Oli chant.
AND THE LANTERN PART?
There are six main lanterns which carry the prayers offered for victims of war (that’s the memorial bit). Then there are prayers for those who have died as a result of natural and man-made disasters, famine, disease, and water-related accidents. We’re not entirely sure why prayers are said for these victims exclusively, but we’re pretty sure you could get away with floating your own lantern for whoever you want. In the end, it’s the sight of hundreds of candlelit lanterns floating over the water under the setting sun that brings beauty and peace all around.